Wanda Wilson didn’t wait for the Newport City Council to get control of the rowdy juveniles business people claim have taken over Main Street, authorities say.
The 46-year-old Newport-area woman took the law into her own hands when she thought she heard City Councilman Jim Kolthoff’s 14-year-old son call her a sexually vulgar name, according to Police Chief Gary Markwardt.
Wilson faces a fourth-degree assault charge for allegedly slapping the boy and stubbing his cigarette out on his neck. She is free on $500 bail, pending arraignment March 1 on the misdemeanor charge.
Wilson told Markwardt that Josh Kolthoff called her an obscene name that made reference to her red hair when she walked past him and two other boys who were hanging out on Main Street about 3 p.m. on Feb. 10. That was three days after angry business owners demanded that the City Council take action against juveniles they said were harassing customers.
Mayor Kevin Murphy promised a police crackdown and the City Council promised to consider a curfew. But the nighttime curfew proposal the council reviewed Tuesday night wouldn’t have helped Wilson.
It was only about 3 p.m. when Wilson had her run-in with Kolthoff, son of City Councilman Jim Kolthoff.
Markwardt said Wilson told him she confronted the boy about his behavior. Dissatisfied with Kolthoff’s explanation that he was making vulgar remarks about his red baseball cap - not her red hair - she slapped him on the side of his head, Markwardt said.
Markwardt said Kolthoff acknowledged flicking cigarette ashes at Wilson after she slapped him. At that point, Markwardt reported, the 5-foot-5 woman grabbed Kolthoff’s wrist, took the cigarette and jabbed the lighted end into his neck just below his left ear. She also is accused of slapping Kolthoff at least two more times on the right side of his head.
The burn mark was “very evident” and “the whole right side of Kolthoff’s head was a lot redder than the left side,” Markwardt reported.
Kolthoff told Markwardt the confrontation began when Wilson asked him, “Why would I want your red and blue hat?”
In a statement to police, Kolthoff said Wilson tossed his cigarette away and “kept smacking me and pushing me around.” He claimed he kept his hands in his pockets the whole time.
One of Kolthoff’s companions, Bruce Langridge Jr., the son of a Pend Oreille County sheriff’s deputy, supported Kolthoff’s account. Langridge said in a statement that Wilson seemed intoxicated.
Markwardt said Wilson apparently had been drinking, but wasn’t “staggering drunk.”
City Attorney Mark Hanley presented a curfew proposal to the council Tuesday that would require parents or guardians to keep people younger than 18 at home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on school nights and between midnight and 5 a.m. on other nights.
Exceptions would be made for juveniles accompanied by a parent or guardian, those who are at work or running errands for their parents and those who are going straight home from adult-supervised activities such as school or church programs.
Parents or guardians would be warned on their first failure to keep their children at home. A second violation could result in a fine of $50 to $150. The penalty would be $150 to $300 for third violations and $300 to $500 for fourth or subsequent offenses.