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Vashon woman charged with assault in Sporty’s incident

Jessica DeWire, an Island chef who was involved in a high-profile fracas outside of the Sportsmen’s Inn in May, has been charged with felony assault for allegedly scratching and attacking a King County sheriff’s deputy.

DeWire will be arraigned on Aug. 23. Should she be convicted, she could be sentenced to one to three months in jail.

DeWire could not be reached for comment. Steve Mueller, her lawyer, had not yet seen the charging document when reached by a reporter but said he feels certain of his client’s innocence.

“I’m absolutely convinced that she’s not guilty of any crime. And I’m absolutely convinced that this will be shown in the course of any proceedings,” he said.

The charging papers, filed in King Count Superior Court on Monday, paint a different picture than the one put forward by several eyewitnesses at the time of the incident, which took place around 10 p.m. on Friday, May 7.

According to the document, DeWire attacked the officer before she got thrown onto the sidewalk. It also suggests that the officer ended up on top of a prostrate DeWire after an “unknown person” pushed him down.

The incident took place after two deputies arrested a man at the Sportsmen’s Inn for rude and disorderly conduct. One of the deputies, Mark Silverstein, began to walk the man to his car when DeWire and another woman “came within arm’s reach of him, demanding he explain his actions,” the court documents say.

Silverstein told the two women to step back, raising his arm for emphasis, when DeWire grabbed his arm. A moment later, as Silverstein was trying to deal with the man arrested for disorderly conduct, the deputy “felt a sharp pain on his face from DeWire’s fingernail,” according to charging papers.

The document then adds, in language that’s not completely coherent: “Deputy Silverstein’s weight was now directed over DeWire from being pushed down from behind by an unknown person” — the only reference suggesting DeWire ended up on the ground with the officer over her.

Three eye witnesses at the time, however, said that the deputy reached over and threw DeWire to the ground; it was only after she was on the ground, some said, that DeWire scratched the officer.

The charging papers also say a large and threatening crowd gathered — the document puts the number at 100 — and began yelling “pigs,” “police brutality” and “other hostile slogans.” Witnesses at the time of the incident put the number of Islanders at around 20.

The incident triggered a strong reaction on Vashon. Some, siding with the officers, saw it as an example of Vashon’s occasional unruliness and the kind of scene that can develop on a Friday night, when people have been drinking. Others contended the officers were unnecessarily provocative and said it underscored a hostile relationship they’ve seen for years between the sheriff’s department and Island residents.

The charging papers also said that DeWire was remorseful after the incident. In the holding cell, she told Silverstein’s partner, Kevin Savage, that she was “sorry for all of this.”

During the arraignment, DeWire will enter a plea; she’s then expected to be released on her personal recognizance until her trial.

 

Community Events, April 2014

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