SPD: Teens start fight Downtown after couple leaves Steamplant


by KREM.com


Posted on January 27, 2014 at 9:45 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 28 at 7:57 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.--A teen accused of assaulting a man leaving the Steamplant Grill in Downtown Spokane appeared in court Tuesday.

Authorities said a fight broke out Downtown Monday night as a man and woman walked to their car after leaving the Steamplant Grill.

Witnesses said the couple was leaving in their vehicle around 8 p.m. when they encountered a group of ten kids blocking the roadway. 

The couple reported hearing a loud bang as if someone had slapped or kicked the vehicle according to police.  Witnesses said the teens eventually backed off enough to let the couple’s van pass, but then slapped the vehicle as it went by.
One of the kids claimed he was hit by the van.

Officers said the man got out of the vehicle to check on the kid and to confront the group and an altercation began, turning into a physical fight.

Police said the man was attacked.

While the man was holding one juvenile male, a couple of the kids began kicking him investigators said. 

The juvenile was arrested for 4th Degree Assault.

Both the suspect and victim were treated for minor injuries according to police.

Police said this was an isolated incident and that officers are working to address safety threats despite a 25% decrease in violent crime from one year ago.
Spokane police said random violence is rare in Spokane.    

“Working downtown and walking to the bus stop, it's scary, there are a lot of people that want to cause trouble for no reason,” said a woman who works Downtown, Patricia Bates.

It is a story that does not surprise people like Bates who are Downtown every day.

I could only imagine, going out to dinner, trying to have a good evening and being harassed. There are people out here who yell at you and chase you,” said Bates.

Spokane police have a message for any street kids who want to act up.

This kind of behavior is unacceptable. We will do everything we can to enforce the laws. If you're going to be Downtown you have to abide by the laws,” said Captain Judi Carl with the Spokane Police Department.

Bates said she knows Spokane police are in for quite the battle.    

“They really have stepped up and are helping patrol and make us feel safe but there are just so many out of control kids that it's hard for them,” said Bates.

Spokane police said if you are ever in a similar situation, do not get out of the car. They said call police from inside your car and do not engage street kids.

The teen who fought with the man in this case is charged with fourth degree assault.