Ax handle incident spurs assault case

"A 44-year-old Coupeville man is facing a felony assault charge for allegedly assaulting another man with an ax handle Sept. 29.Leo Mathis pleaded not guilty to assault in the third degree in Island County Superior Court Oct. 3. If convicted, he could face up to three months in jail. According to the affidavit of probable cause written by Coupeville Officer William Hibbs, a witness on SW Terry Road reported seeing an older man and a woman in an altercation with three young men.The witness said the older man, who was later identified as Mathis, threatened the three boys with an ax handle and pushed the 26-year-old victim to the ground with it.The witness also saw Mathis pick up a knife and throw it into a vacant lot. Mathis later told Hibbs that one of the boys tried to take the knife out of his pocket but dropped it on the ground.In an interview with Hibbs, Mathis said he was just trying to scare the younger men because they had shot his son in the foot with a pellet gun.Mathis said he was just pissed off that they were messing with his son, Hibbs wrote. "

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