Police recommend charges in connection to WSU professor's assault


by KREM.com with help from Murrow News 8's Nick Dettorre


Posted on May 14, 2013 at 5:30 PM

PULLMAN, Wash.--Police closed their investigation on Tuesday regarding the attack on Dr. David Warner. Officers passed the case to the Whitman County Prosecuting Attorney.

Investigators recommended that five people be charged in connection to the attack.

Police suggested that Madeline A. Fouts be charged with Rendering Criminal Assistance 1st Degree (Felony), Making a False or Misleading Statement (Misdemeanor), Failing to Summon Assistance (Misdemeanor). Joshua W. Nantz, John “Matt” Cabanos-Soriano, and Robert D. Bean could face charges for Assault 1st Degree (Felony), Assault 4th Degree (Misdemeanor), Failing to Summon Assistance (Misdemeanor).

The potential charges stem from a fight near the Washington State University campus on March 30th.

Officers also suggested charges be filed against Dr. Warner’s friend, Lawrence McDonald. He could be charged with Attempted Assault 4th Degree (misdemeanor), Disorderly Conduct (misdemeanor).

Police arrested McDonald on May 9th for allegedly assaulting Robert Bean. Officers believe a fight between McDonald and Bean escalated and led to the assault on Warner.

McDonald, Warner, and a third person had been drinking the night of the attack. Officers said the three men were walking to Adams Mall. Witnesses told police that McDonald was verbally harassing random individuals in the parking lot.

Witnesses said McDonald made an insulting comment toward Nantz as she left Adams Mall. McDonald made a similar comment toward Bean.  Police interviewed witnesses who said words were exchanged between McDonald and the group of Fouts, Nantz, Soriano, and Bean.

Warner tried to calm down and physically hold back McDonald according to witnesses. Yet, police said Fouts, Nantz, Soriano, and Bean surrounded the two men. Witnesses told police that is when McDonald threw a punch at Bean.

Soriano and Nantz moved toward McDonald according to witnesses. Officers said Warner tried to move in and all four men fell to the ground in a scuffle.

Investigators are awaiting medical reports to determine if Warner received his injuries from hitting his head on the ground.

Officers said Fouts grabbed Bean and the suspects ran from the scene. Fouts later lied to investigators about her knowledge of the assault and other suspects during an initial interview according to police.

Officers said Fouts, Nantz, Soriano, and Bean had all been drinking.

Detectives interviewed witnesses, reviewed Adams Mall video, served search warrants for suspects’ cell phone records, and interviewed victim David Warner. Police said Warner was not able to provide any specific details of the event that resulted in his injury.