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Wednesday, June 7, 2023
June 7, 2023

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Man appears in court in multi-car injury crash in Battle Ground

Brush Prairie man, 34, suspected of assault, malicious mischief

By , Columbian county government and small cities reporter

A Brush Prairie man who allegedly caused a multi-car crash in Battle Ground after nearly striking a pedestrian made a first court appearance Tuesday.

Samuel B. Cassiba, 34, appeared in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of first-degree assault and first-degree malicious mischief. Judge Daniel Stahnke set bail at $60,000, which Cassiba posted, according to court records. Cassiba’s next appearance is scheduled for July 5.

Emergency crews were dispatched shortly before 5:30 p.m. Monday to the intersection of state Highway 503 and Northeast 179th Street. Two cars were damaged in the intersection, and another car had crashed a few hundred feet north in a related incident, Clark County Fire District 3 Capt. Jason Mansfield said.

One of the involved cars, a silver SUV, was on fire in the intersection when crews arrived, Mansfield said. The fire was extinguished quickly.

Three injuries were reported, one which was listed as traumatic and the other two minor, Mansfield said. The two patients inside the cars in the intersection have not been identified.

Roughly 10 minutes before the crash, sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the Promenade Apartments, 11903 N.E. 116th St. After arriving, a deputy noticed damage to metal fencing on the north side of the complex, a tree lying in the road and damage to some bushes, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Additionally, as she sat on a curb, a woman was forced to jump out of the way of Cassiba’s green Jeep Liberty as it accelerated toward her, according to the affidavit. The woman screamed and leaped, hurting her left knee and ankle, the affidavit says.

A property manager at the apartments estimated the damage between $5,000 and $8,000, according to the affidavit. Video footage at the complex confirmed that it was the Jeep that caused the damage, the affidavit says.

Cassiba then drove through the Highland Crossing apartment complex and north on Highway 503, according to the affidavit. He was driving at high rates of speed before the crash, Clark County Sheriff’s Sgt. Tim Bieber said. After colliding with the two cars, the Jeep crashed into a ditch north of the intersection.

Cassiba has a history of being combative with police and not being affected by stun guns or less-than-lethal weapons, Bieber said, adding that the office was aware of reports that he was displaying increasingly erratic behavior over the past few days. In January, Cassiba was arrested on suspicion of residential burglary, third-degree assault and fourth-degree assault, and the case is ongoing, according to court records.

Cassiba is listed at 6 feet, 1 inch tall and 400 pounds, according to court records. After the crash, deputies used a lateral vascular neck restraint, commonly referred to as a chokehold, to bring Cassiba to the ground before placing him in handcuffs and sedating him, Bieber said.

“They can’t transport a guy that big who’s acting violent in the back of an ambulance,” Bieber said.

Cassiba was taken to a hospital and treated for minor injuries before being booked in the Clark County Jail. The Clark County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit is investigating the crash, and additional charges are possible, Bieber said.

Columbian county government and small cities reporter