Housewarming party results in hospitalizations, arrest

A housewarming party in Oak Harbor Oct. 12 ended with two women in the hospital and one woman in jail, according to court documents.

A deputy with the Island County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of an assault at the home. He found one woman lying on the floor being attended by two men. Witnesses said the woman had been choked, which lead to a seizure; one of the men performed CPR on her for a brief period, the deputy’s report states.

In a different area, a deputy found another woman on the floor in the midst of what also appeared to be a seizure. Witnesses said she had also been choked, which led to a seizure and difficulty breathing.

The victims and witnesses identified the suspect in both assaults as Maribel Decker, 32.

The report states that a fight started between several women after one allegedly talked bad about one of the others. Decker allegedly choked the woman and the woman had a panic attack, which caused her to have difficulty breathing and a seizure, the deputy wrote.

During this fight, a woman in another room also had a panic attack and started breaking glassware. Decker was accused of placing this woman in a choke hold, causing her to nearly lose consciousness, the report states.

The deputy noted that alcohol clearly contributed to the incidents.

The two women were transported to the hospital.

Decker denied choking either woman, saying she placed the second woman in a bear hug to calm her.

The deputy arrested Decker, but she isn’t facing felony charges. Under state law, an assault becomes a felony if the perpetrator chokes the victim and obstructs the person’s breathing.

Decker appeared in Island County Superior Court Monday, and the judge found probable cause existed for two counts of fourth degree assault. She was released.

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