Two may be charged for June 1 clash on First Street
SNOHOMISH — Police recommended charges against two men who tangled with each other during a Monday, June 1 march on First Street, an incident that is remembered most for a teenager being punched
in the face and getting a concussion.
Disorderly conduct charges were recommended against a 23-year-old marcher from Snohomish and a 34-year-old Snohomish man in the group guarding First Street that evening who kicked at the marcher, an action which seemed to set off the flare-up.
A 38-year-old Snohomish man who punched the teenager does not have charges recommended against him. Police wrote that the 38-year-old was punching at people because he was under attack by the 23-year-old marcher, and described the punch to the teenager as a second act of self-defense.
Both the marcher and the man who kicked were arrested. The Tribune is not naming them because prosecutors have not formally charged either person. The charges were still under review, the county prosecutor’s office said the morning of Monday, July 27.
The clash in the 1200 block of First Street was captured on a cell phone video widely shared on social media, and was a topic among public comments discussing that weekend’s events at the June 2 City Council meeting.
Here is the video from Facebook (Ashley Cope video):
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Police narratives obtained by the Tribune indicate the altercation began when a 23-year-old man in the march bumped the shoulder of the 34-year-old man standing on the sidewalk. Police say the bump was intentional.
The man who got bumped made a small kick toward the marcher’s shin as he passed, and said something toward him, to which the 23-year-old protestor turned back and rushed at the man who kicked at him. More people clumped themselves into the scene.
A 38-year-old from Snohomish, seen on citizen video in a gray camouflage sweatshirt, stepped in front of the charge and the marcher took a swing and punched him, police said.
The 38-year-old defended with a punch back.
Police reports say 19-year-old Beck Otteson, the teen who received a concussion, stepped forward into the altercation. He was within reach to the 38-year-old. When the 23-year-old ran away, Otteson was backing up and had his arms up in a blocking position, from the Tribune’s review of the video, when the 38-year-old came toward him and punched him in the face. Otteson himself couldn’t give much for a written statement; he wrote that he doesn’t remember what happened. He ended up in the ICU.
The 38-year-old told police he had a concealed pistol on him and feared someone might grab it.
A Snohomish police deputy wrote that the 38-year-old “acted reasonably” in his self-defense against the 23-year-old and characterized the punch to the 19-year-old as “unfortunate.”
The man wrote in a statement to police, obtained by the Tribune, that he felt threatened. “I acted in self defense and struck my way to safety.”
A Snohomish police deputy wrote on punching the teen: “It was not an accident or unintentional. (The man) saw what he believed was a second attacker and he took action to defend himself.”
On video, after punching the teenager down, the man stopped himself from punching a young female and then ran down the street after other marchers.
The man who made the kick denied to police that he was attempting a leg sweep, but did it “to get (the 23-year-old marcher’s) attention.”
“If I was trying to leg sweep him, he’d be on
his” rear, he told a police officer during an interview, according to a police report.
The throng of local teenagers and young adults marched down First Street that evening after participating in a peaceful Black Lives Matter rally at all four corners of Second Street and Avenue D. The march down to First was not sanctioned by the rally’s organizers, the organizers said previously.
The guardsmen had taken posts the evening of June 1 as a continued presence from the day before, when about 200 to 300 individuals convened on First Street, initially drawn here because they were told that Antifa members planned to raise havoc downtown.
Self-appointed guards continued to present themselves on First Street most of that week.
No charges in other fight in the doorway in the video
Almost at the same time as the altercation described in this story, a separate group of two people wrestled in the doorway of a bridal shop. Police reports piece together that the business owner pulled away one of the assailants to stop the fight. No charges were recommended from this scuffle.
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