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Mattson Middle School student in Covington charged with assault for allegedly choking student | Breaking news
A Mattson Middle School student has been charged with assault in the third degree after allegedly choking another student to the point of unconsciousness May 3.
The student is set to be arraigned today in King County court.
According to the King County Prosecutor's charging papers, the suspect and the victim were walking back from lunch break on Thursday, May 3 when the suspect allegedly picked him up from the ground by his neck and held him for approximately 10 seconds.
The charging papers also stated that video surveillance footage from the school just before, "it appears (the victim) made a comment to (the suspect) and then they walk up to each other."
The suspect finally let go of the victim, where he fell on the ground. The suspect then allegedly ran to the school office.
The victim was later taken to the school nurses office and treated for abrasions on his face. He was later transported to Valley Medical Center and treated for a facial fracture and a slight concussion, according to the victim's mother.
When questioned by police, the suspect said he never intended to choke the victim unconscious, and that he was waiting for him to "tap" to surrender. The suspect also claimed that he and the victim are friends.
In a statement written to the school included in the charging papers, the suspect wrote that "I was walkin' to class and (the victim) an me were messing around and we were talking crap (back) and forth and a like put him in a choke hold for a second and he didn't tap out so I let go and he straight fell and I like rolled him over and his teeth were broken so I ran to go get help."
The victim claimed to have no memory of the incident. He also stated, according to the charging papers, he "does not play the choking game and has never played around with (the suspect) like that."
According to the charging papers, the suspect is 6-foot-2 and weighs 170 pounds. The victim is 5 feet tall and weighs 100 pounds.
Kent School District Spokesperson Chris Loftis wrote in an email interview that this was not a simple case of roughhousing gone too far.
"Both our administrative investigation and the King County Sherriff’s investigation concluded that it was not part of a 'choking game' as has been erroneously reported by some, but ruled rather a simple assault," Loftis wrote. "The school did their due diligence and talked to eye witnesses and the victim. Our district’s Safety Services staff also worked closely with the arresting officer and all concluded the incident was an assault. Bottom line, whether it’s a game, a loss of composure, an act of anger, or intended maliciousness, dangerous and violent behavior has no place in our schools and we do what is necessary to keep our students safe."
Mattson Middle School is located at 16400 SE 251st Street, Covington.