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Gig Harbor High principal pleads not guilty to DUI

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on April 9, 2012 at 11:38 am with 11 Comments »
April 9, 2012 11:38 am

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.

Leave a comment Comments → 11
  1. footballscaa says:

    Mr Strongs math (one beer=0.109 BA) seems to be as off as his depth perception. And his culpability, (I left the accident because it was his fault) seem in line with his defenders. Point the fingers any where but at me!

  2. Depending on outside factors, it is entirely feasible that a 24 oz beer consumed quickly would result in an 180 lb male with a b.a.c. of .109%. Many people don’t realize how few drinks it actually takes to exceed the legal driving limit.

  3. Wrapper98439 says:

    Can’t prove anything. Could have had the drink after he got to the inlaws’s house. Hit and run, yes. Dui, no.

  4. beerdrinkingdawg says:

    Wrong Wrapper.
    He admitted to drinking the beer at 10am.
    The accident was 11:30am.

    Strong illustrates how stupid people can be when talking to the cops. Based on the limited info in this story, the cops only would have had the hit and run on him if he knew his rights, kept his mouth shut, and called an attorney.

  5. BigBlockChev says:

    I am more interested in the answers to these questions:

    1. Why is a high school principal admittedly drinking a 24 ounce beer at 10:00 a.m. on a school day?

    2. Why did he show up at his mother-in-law’s house after drinking on a weekday morning if he is involved in a divorce?

    3. Earler reports alluded to an attempt to buy a gun immediately prior to the incident? What ever happened to that?

    4. Has he been banned from school property pending the outcome of this?

    5. Has the school developed an action plan in the event he were to show up on school property?

  6. I suspect,If things go as they usually do in cases like this, I think Mr Strong will beat the charges and go back to teaching as if nothing ever happened.A good Lawyer is invaluable in cases like this.

  7. ceasar88 says:

    I hope this man gets the psychological intervention that he needs. I’ve been following this story for a while, and I am concerned that it will end in disaster. If he could just step back, cease engaging in dangerous and destructive behavior, get some treatment, and chill out, he could still have a decent life.

  8. lovethemountains says:

    beerdawg, he knew his rights. He was just to dumb impaired to exercise them.

  9. StudentsMom says:

    As the parent of a GHHS student, I’m deeply disappointed that Ted Strong isn’t taking responsibility for his actions. He admitted to police that he’d been drinking before the accident AND he claimed he’d hit the other car because “it was acting aggressively!” After he hit it, he obviously left the scene – making it a hit-and-run offense! I suspect that he drove straight to his nearby mother-in-law’s house to get himself and his car off the road. And now a “not guilty” plea!?

    We all make mistakes, and we must have the opportunity to redeem ourselves and our character. But as the principal of a high school with over 1600 teenage students, Ted Strong had a higher standard of behavior to uphold in the first place. Every year GHHS stages a mock car crash. It is designed to simulate, in gruesome detail, the horrific outcome of a drinking and driving accident. As of the date of Ted Strong’s arrest, that mock car crash became a mockery! If the years of staged, drunken horror didn’t deter the principal, then why should the students take it seriously?

    Before Ted Strong is given another opportunity to wield influence over other people’s children, he must truly take responsibility for all the damage he’s done. If he does have a persistent and severe alcohol abuse problem, he has to own that before any treatment will work anyway. To redeem his character, he should admit his mistakes, acknowledge the harm he’s done to other people, and start taking steps to correct what’s wrong. I would expect no less from my teenager in the same situation.

  10. redstepchild says:

    students moms is on target! Was he at school that day? Drunk?

  11. Zummytummy says:

    He wasn’t at school that day. I’m a junior at GHHS and he was on his first day of personal leave that he requested from the school district. Not that it makes his actions okay. And students are quite forgiving to this whole incident atleast the Sophmores and freshman seem to be. On the other hand all the Juniors and Seniors who drive and will be apart of the mock crash day at GHHS are rather disappointed in the whole ordeal. Nobody is perfect I know that for myself. We all have our problems, but it’s how we recognize and deal with them that’s key. I feel sad for Mr.Strongs child who attends our school, he has to hear all the remarks that were forged from the mouths of students parents and passed through to the kids. You don’t think he hears about it everyday?

    Mr.Strong is not a bad man everyone, really. He was not the best principal in the first place, he should not have had such a leadership role in my opinion, but that’s not my point. He messed up big time, shouldn’t have done what he did and should not have his job as a principal back at GHHS. That’s a done deal. He needs to own up to his mistakes, BUT he doesn’t deserve to be called names. If anyone here has had a family member or personal experience with Alcoholism you would know the pain that it causes and the scars it leaves, not only on the abuser, but their family/friends.

    Let’s all have compassion.
    Having compassion doesn’t mean to let your beliefs and opinions faulter for the sake of what “socially acceptable” but say what you need to say with grace and understanding of your actions and words.

    Thank you everyone.
    ~Anna R.

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