Scratch leads to felony charge

A 59-year-old Langley man is facing a felony charge for allegedly scratching an elderly man’s car at Whidbey General Hospital, court documents state.

Prosecutors charged Thomas Keltner in Island County Superior Court April 10 with malicious mischief in the second degree. He pleaded not guilty to the charges April 23.

A witness reported that a red van was parked at the hospital parking lot, but was parked at an angle and was 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. The woman claimed 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.

A Coupeville deputy tracked down Keltner, who denied scratching the car but admitted being at the hospital.

The damage to the man’s car was estimated at $856.

If convicted, Keltner could face up to 60 days in jail under the standard sentencing range.

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

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