Warrant issued for one defendant in butt-slapping case

16-year-old fails to appear for court

By Laura McVicker, Columbian staff writer

Published:

Updated: June 29, 2012, 12:03 PM

 

A 16-year-old accused of brandishing a knife during a confrontation with a jogger was due in court Friday to face charges of displaying a dangerous weapon and being a minor in possession of alcohol.

But Michael A. Huston didn’t show up to Clark County Juvenile Court, so authorities requested a warrant for his arrest.

Huston was one of two teens who allegedly accosted a jogger June 15 on the Padden Parkway path. Priscilla Dang, the 23-year-old jogger, said another teen with Huston, now identified as Josiah Sullivan, 18, of Vancouver, slapped her buttocks.

Dang said she then confronted the teens when Huston called her a derogatory term. This triggered Dang to hit him in the mouth because “she was fearful of the two males,” according to court documents.

During the tussle with Huston, he allegedly displayed a 3-inch pocketknife, Dang later told deputies, according to court documents.

A passerby stopped and called 911. When sheriff’s deputies arrived, they said Huston smelled of alcohol and his speech was slurred, according to court documents.

“Huston was administered a portable breathalyzer test, which registered a .176,” according to a probable cause affidavit by probation counselor D. Randy Reed.

Reed also wrote in the affidavit that Huston had a bottle of Jack Daniel’s whiskey in his backpack.

Huston, of Vancouver, was released to the custody of his parents; Sullivan was arrested on suspicion of fourth-degree assault, a gross misdemeanor, for the alleged butt-slapping.

Sullivan made his first appearance in Clark County District Court on June 18, and he has since been released from jail. He has a pretrial hearing Aug. 14.

Huston’s case was delayed because juvenile officials initially believed the teen qualified for a diversion program offered to certain misdemeanor offenders, said Deputy Prosecutor Rick Olson. However, the program is generally only offered to first-time juvenile offenders; court records show Huston has had three previous charges, including minor in possession of alcohol and possession of marijuana charges.

Since The Columbian and several local TV news stations ran stories last week, detailing how Dang used her martial arts expertise to fight off the teens, the case went viral on the web and gained nationwide attention.

The Huffington Post, a national newsmagazine, ran an article, which has garnered nearly 26,000 Facebook likes and nearly 6,500 comments. A videographer with NBC’s “Today” show interviewed Dang this week. The segment hasn’t yet aired, Dang was told by a producer, because of a wave of breaking national news.

Laura McVicker: www.twitter.com/col_courts;www.facebook.com/reportermcvicker;laura.mcvicker@columbian.com; 360-735-4516.