Scratching car sends man to jail

A 59-year-old Langley man accused of scratching an elderly man’s car at Whidbey General Hospital was sentenced to jail, according to court documents.

As part of a plea bargain, Thomas Keltner pleaded guilty in Island County Superior Court Nov. 5 to attempted malicious mischief in the second degree. He originally was charged with felony malicious mischief in the second degree.

Judge Vicki Churchill agreed with the sentence recommendation proposed by both the defense and prosecution. She sentenced him to 365 days in jail, with all but four days suspended. She also ordered him to pay $1,442 in fines and fees.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, the incident began after Keltner parked his van in the hospital parking lot at an angle, taking up part of the next stall. An elderly man parked next to the van, but was very close to it because of the van’s crookedness.

The witness said the owner of the van, later identified as Keltner, came out of the hospital and had to climb in through the passenger’s side door. Keltner held an object out of the window while he was backing up and scratched the man’s car, the report states.

Luckily, the elderly man had written down the license plate number of the van before he went in the hospital, the report states.

You can reach News-Times reporter Jessie Stensland at or call 675-6611.

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