Accused of stealing ice cream, the couple then allegedly assaulted the shop assistant and customer

By Julia Ornedo

An Olympia couple allegedly assaulted a store employee and a customer over a cup of ice cream.

Monte E. Hicks, a 39-year-old man, and Stephanie Susan Chase, a 37-year-old woman, were arrested Aug. 17 after a reported robbery at the Chevron convenience store at 5700 Ruddell Road SE.

The store clerk told police the suspects entered the store and Hicks asked to use the restroom. Chase then grabbed a cup of ice cream and handed it to Hicks, who headed for the bathroom.

The employee said that when Hicks came out of the bathroom, he was out of ice. The suspect then left the store.

The employee said Chase was at the counter when Hicks left to pay for a different ice cream and collect a $3 scratch off ticket.

Store staff told Chase she would be charged with the cost of the ice cream Hicks had taken, prompting the suspect to protest. Chase asked for the scratch ticket to be returned, but the cashier refused. Chase then grabbed the ice cream she had and left the store.

The store clerk said he followed Chase outside and grabbed his backpack, at which point Hicks came running and began pushing him.

When Chase’s backpack fell to the floor, the employee picked it up and walked back inside the store, where the two suspects followed him.

The couple then attempted to move the employee’s backpack away, knocking over several display racks. Hicks managed to retrieve the bag and the two suspects ran out of the store.

A customer queuing behind Chase assisted the employee by attempting to retrieve the bag herself, but the two suspects pushed her in the attempt.

Police reported that the assistant client suffered scratches to her leg during the fight.

The suspects were located at the corner of 54th Avenue SE and Emerald Street. They were detained without incident.

A search of the backpack revealed a cup of ice cream still frozen at $3.49 and ice cream worth $2.99, as well as a small container containing a white substance which later tested positive for the methamphetamine.

Police said surveillance footage corroborated the employee’s and the other customer’s accounts of the incident.

The suspects were incarcerated in Thurston County Jail for second-degree robbery. Charges of common assault were also referred to the Lacey City District Attorney.