Jogger attacked in Oak Harbor by stranger, helped by passersby

A man who allegedly attacked a jogger in Oak Harbor is being held in jail on $50,000 bail.

Oak Harbor Police Chief Kevin Dresker said the bail amount is unusually high for gross misdemeanor assault charges, but that it was especially troubling that the suspect, Michael D. Smith, attacked a complete stranger on the street.

The woman was running in the area of State Highway 20 and Whidbey Avenue just after 5 p.m. Wednesday when Smith started running across the highway and yelling at her, the victim reported. He ran over to the jogger and started to hit her, the chief said.

Several people driving by stopped to help. Some people honked their horns and several people got out of their cars. One man got out of his car and started yelling at the attacker, catching his attention and causing him to stop assaulting the woman. Smith then went over to the man and started fighting him until other men intervened, the report states.

Several women stayed with the victim while they waited for police to arrive. Dresker said the woman’s injuries were minor but the experience was undoubtedly traumatic.

The police arrested Smith on suspicion of assault soon afterward. Dresker said officials suspect that he was having mental health problems. Smith also made strange comments to the judge the next day, the chief said.

Court records indicate that Smith has a history of domestic-violence crimes.

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