The principal of Gig Harbor High School pleaded not guilty today to misdemeanor DUI and hit-and-run stemming from a crash on Fox Island last month.
Ted Strong, 42, remains free on his personal recognizance following his arraignment in Pierce County District Court.
Strong, who is on leave from his job, was arrested March 20 after Gig Harbor police were notified of a hit-and-run near 14th Avenue and Mowtish Drive.
Another driver reported a car that had been tailgating him smashed into the rear of his vehicle when he pulled over to let it pass about 11:50 a.m.
The man got the license plate of the running car and called it in to authorities, who determined Strong “was associated with that vehicle” and tracked him to his mother-in-law’s house nearby, according to court records.
“The defendant claimed the other car was acting aggressively which caused him to rear-end the vehicle,” the records show.
Strong at first denied drinking that morning but later told police he drank a 24-ounce beer about 10 a.m., court records state. A breath test determined his blood-alcohol level to be .109. The legal limit in Washington is .08.
Strong’s wife filed for divorce March 2, citing his “history of severe alcohol abuse” as one of the reasons.