Yacolt man in court, suspected of assault

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

Published:

 

A 19-year-old Yacolt man appeared Tuesday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of assaulting an acquaintance early Sunday in Battle Ground. The attack sent the 17-year-old victim to Portland's Legacy Emanuel Medical Center with broken bones and a traumatic brain injury, according to court records.

Joseph A. "Joey" Mitchell faces a charge of first-degree assault at his July 5 arraignment. He was held Tuesday on $50,000 bail. Vancouver attorney Jack Peterson was appointed to defend him.

Battle Ground police investigators have been unable to interview the victim because he has brain swelling, according to a probable cause affidavit filed with the court. His condition was not available Tuesday.

Mitchell told police that he attacked the 17-year-old after hearing he had raped one of Mitchell's relatives. He said he slammed the victim into a wall at a Chevron station at 16 N.W. 13th Ave. in Battle Ground and punched and kicked him until he was unconscious.

According to court documents, Mitchell had teeth marks on his hands, which, he said, came from the victim biting him. The suspect also had marks on his elbows from elbowing the victim.

Another friend, Efrain Cook, who also goes by the name Fry Jonsson, was present and tried to stop Mitchell, the suspect said. Cook, 17, also was arrested on suspicion of assault, according to the probable cause affidavit. However, there was no record of Cook appearing Tuesday in Juvenile Court on the allegation.

Before driving away, Mitchell said, he turned the victim on his side so he wouldn't choke on his own blood.

The victim later woke up and tried to leave, court documents say. The probable cause affidavit doesn't indicate at what point the victim was transported to the hospital.

The assault allegedly happened soon after the suspects and the victim had attended a party near Fargher Lake, according to court documents.

Paris Achen: 360-735-4551; http://twitter.com/Col_Courts;http://facebook.com/ColTrends;paris.achen@columbian.com.