Pair back in court in Monday incidents

Man, woman face additional allegations, suspected of assault

By Jessica Prokop, Columbian Courts Reporter

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A Vancouver man and woman who are suspected in a daylong, violent crime spree against random people were back in court Wednesday to face the additional allegations.

Daniel Perez Rodriguez, 24, and Ashley L. Griffin, 19, appeared in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of two counts of second-degree assault. Griffin also appeared on one count of fourth-degree assault, court records show.

Both were in court Tuesday, along with a third co-defendant, Matthew L. Smith, 35, also of Vancouver in an alleged robbery and assault of a woman near Vancouver Lake Regional Park. Perez Rodriguez is additionally accused of approaching a man near the Walgreen’s in Uptown Village and assaulting and robbing him, according to court documents.

He is facing allegations of first-degree robbery in both incidents, and Griffin and Smith are facing first-degree robbery in the one incident.

In the new allegations, police say, Perez Rodriguez and Griffin attacked two moms at the play area at Vancouver Mall, and followed a man home and assaulted him in the Fourth Plain Village neighborhood.

All of the incidents occurred Monday, but it was not immediately clear which was first.

Michael Craft told Vancouver police he was driving north on Grand Boulevard near 32nd Street when he came upon a black SUV in front of him, barely moving. He drove around the vehicle and went to his residence on 32nd Street. The SUV followed him home and stopped in the road, according to a probable cause affidavit.

A man, later identified by police as Perez Rodriguez, got out of the passenger’s side of the SUV and asked Craft if he had a problem. Craft told police that he asked Perez Rodriguez what his problem was, at which time Perez Rodriguez pulled out a pair of brass knuckles with spikes and started swinging at Craft’s face, the affidavit states.

Craft’s girlfriend came outside after hearing the commotion and began filming the altercation, prompting Perez Rodriguez to return to his vehicle, court records said. Craft was still standing on the sidewalk when the SUV crept past him, and a woman, later identified by police as Griffin, pepper-sprayed Craft in the face through the open window before driving off, according to court documents.

Craft said he was unable to call for help right away because of being pepper-sprayed, the affidavit states.

At about 4:50 p.m., police were called to Vancouver Mall, 8700 N.E. Vancouver Mall Drive, for a reported assault. A witness said he saw a woman and man, later identified by police as Griffin and Perez Rodriguez, assault two mothers at the play area. Griffin reportedly shoved Aimee Selnes twice during an argument over their children’s behavior while playing together. Selnes left the playground, according to a separate probable cause affidavit.

A short time later, Griffin and Perez Rodriguez began punching and strangling Marriane Hickman, who told police she was trying to keep her two children from playing with Griffin’s child. That angered Griffin, Hickman said, and the woman began punching Hickman and grabbed her around the throat, the affidavit states.

As she tried to defend herself, Perez Rodriguez joined in on the assault by punching Hickman in the face several times and grabbing her throat, she said. Mall security intervened, but the couple left, court records said.

Perez Rodriguez is now being held on $350,000 bail, and Griffin is being held on $150,000 bail. Smith’s bail remains at $75,000.

All three will be arraigned Oct. 19.