Punch produces felony charge

A 40-year-old Coupeville man accused of punching a woman in the face is facing a felony charge in Island County Superior Court.

Prosecutor charged Joseph Phal March 2 with assault in the second degree, domestic violence. If convicted, he could face three to nine months in jail.

Deputy Scott Fague with the Island County Sheriff’s Office wrote in his report that he responded to a report from Whidbey General Hospital Feb. 27 that a 46-year-old woman had been assaulted.

Fague wrote that the alleged victim reluctantly said that her live-in fiance, Phal, had punched the wall with his fist and then punched her in the face at a Van Dam Road residence.

According to the report, the woman’s nose was red and crooked. The doctor found that it was broken.

In court March 11, the alleged victim said she wants the charges reduced and asked to have restraints lifted so that she could communicate with Phal. Judge Alan Hancock ruled that she and Phal could talk on the phone, but have no personal contact.

Phal pleaded not guilty. He is out of jail on bail.

You can reach Jessie Stensland at or 675-6611.

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