Man comatose after brutal assault in North Whidbey home

Deputies arrived to the East Henni Road home and found the victim unconscious, struggling to breathe

A North Whidbey man who was beaten in his home early in the morning of March 14 remains in a coma after undergoing emergency surgery at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Island County Chief Criminal Prosecutor Eric Ohme said in court Monday.

Two men are accused of sneaking into the victim’s house while he was sleeping and assaulting him, allegedly because they were upset he had been spending time with the wife of one of the alleged assailants.

One of the suspects beat the 36-year-old man while the other prevented the victim’s mother from intervening, according to a police report.

Monday, Island County Superior Court Judge Carolyn Cliff found probable cause existed to believe 30-year-old Vanon Bowling III and 30-year-old Beau J. Scroggins committed the crimes of assault in the first degree and burglary in the first degree.

Ohme asked Cliff to set Bowling’s bail at $250,000, noting the defendant allegedly beat the victim “nearly to death” in front of his mother while she was powerless to act.

Ohme said the victim had to be airlifted to Harborview, where he underwent emergency surgery because of blood found in his brain and spinal fluid. He’s in a coma and on a ventilator and hasn’t been conscious since police arrived at his home.

Bowling’s defense attorney, Andrew Scott, said the case may involve the defense of a family member, and he suggested that Bowling should be monitored with an electronic ankle bracelet instead of held in jail.

“There is much more to this than meets the eye,” he said.

Cliff, however, said the seriousness of the crime and the horrific nature of the injuries warranted $250,000 bail.

Ohme asked that Scroggins be held on $100,000 bail. While Scroggins may not have beat the victim, Ohme claimed that he has “accomplice liability.”

Attorney Matt Montoya asked for $25,000 bail, arguing that Scroggins’ lack of a felony criminal history and his nearly lifelong ties to the community makes it unlikely that he would pose a danger or try to flee.

Cliff compromised and set his bail at $75,000.

Deputies with the Island County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call at an East Henni Road home just after 1 a.m. and found the victim unconscious on the ground, struggling to breathe and bleeding from an ear.

The victim’s mother told investigators that Bowling’s wife came over to the house earlier in the week and hung out with her son.

Afterward, Bowling allegedly threatened to kill her son if the woman went over to the house again.

The woman, however, visited again in the hours before the assault and claimed she was a victim of domestic abuse, the report states.

After she left, two men came into the house through a sliding door, went into the victim’s bedroom and assaulted him, the report indicates.

The victim’s mother said she tried to intervene as the man, whom she later identified as Bowling, beat her son, but the other man blocked her way, the report states.

After the men left, the victim walked into the living room, moaning and yelling in pain, and then lost consciousness before deputies arrived.

The victim’s mother identified Bowling from a photo lineup, saying she was “95 percent certain” he was the man who beat her son, the deputy wrote. The deputy drove her past Scroggins and she identified him as the other man, the report states.

More in News

The route of the Whidbey 1/2 will take runners down West Beach Road where they will be greeted by views of the Pacific Ocean and snow-capped mountains on Sunday, April 25. (Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times)
Runners to compete in Whidbey ½ next Sunday

Up to 600 runners will compete in the Whidbey ½ on Sunday, April 25, on the North End, and there are still spots available for those who want to join.

Foundation awards $60,000 in grants

Whidbey Community Foundation recently announced its next phase of funding from the… Continue reading

Charity for foster care holding auction

A nonprofit organization with a mission to meet the needs of foster… Continue reading

Brinkman
Community remembers longtime officer from South Whidbey

Mark Brinkman, 56, passed away unexpectedly Sunday night.

Four-year-old Tula Pierre-Louis and her brother, Iuri, play in the waves with mother Atty at West Beach in Deception Pass State Park. It’s the beginning of peak season for Washington’s most popular state park. (Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times)
Deception Pass State Park prepping for peak season

Park manager Jason Armstrong said the number of visitors last year was about 120 percent of what it had been in previous years at the most-visited state park in Washington.

Witness, shell casing tie murder to Central Whidbey

A law enforcement report on the murder of a 67-year-old Whidbey Island man whose body was found in Blaine suggests that he may have been shot near the Coupeville Ferry.

Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times
The Coupeville-Port Townsend route will stay on a one-boat schedule longer than initially planned because too many ferry workers are away from work after they contracted or were exposed to COVID-19. Reservations on the second boat through June 6 were canceled.
Coupeville ferry short crew; some reservations canceled

The ferry system should have a better idea in the next few weeks if the second boat will be delayed beyond June 6.

Hospital to sell Bayview property with odd history

The property has dropped significantly in value since its purchase 13 years ago.

Oak Harbor man charged for brandishing pellet gun

The 21-year-old man is facing a felony charge.

Most Read