Local news

Man hit by attacker swinging sword

Suspect missing but his wife placed under arrest

Spokane Valley police need help locating a sword-wielding attacker who reportedly beat a bystander over the head Monday night, fracturing the man’s skull.

The victim, described only as a 41-year-old man, told Deputy Jeffrey Getchell that he was walking in the area of 12300 E. Portland Road at 8:30 p.m. when he encountered a black Jaguar sports car parked in the middle of the road and a black male in the driver’s seat yelling at a man standing in a yard.

Outside the vehicle stood a woman who was also yelling at the man in the yard. The victim told police he tried to avoid eye contact and walk around the verbal dispute. But the woman, later identified as 48-year-old Lillian Howell, advanced on the victim, flailing her arms as if she were going to hit him, sheriff’s Deputy Craig Chamberlin said.

The victim put his arms in the air to try to defend himself and then saw the suspect, later identified by deputies as 27-year-old Nicholas Howell, advance on him with a sword.

“The victim said (Nicholas Howell) swung the sword at him and struck him on the left side of his head,” Chamberlin wrote. “The victim said he tried to defend himself and was struck a second time with the sword on the left side of his head.”

About that time, neighbors rushed in on the melee and were successful in taking the sword from Howell, Chamberlin said. A witness followed the Howells driving to the area of 11600 E. Empire Way.

Getchell arrested Lillian Howell on the charge of disorderly conduct, but he was unable to find Nicholas Howell.

The man who was struck by the sword suffered a fractured skull but has since been released from a local hospital, Chamberlin said.

Deputies have probable cause to charge Howell with first-degree assault. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

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