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Teenager arrested after downtown altercation Monday night

A 17-year-old male is in custody on a charge of fourth-degree assault after police say he struck a man outside a downtown Spokane restaurant Monday evening following an argument.

Spokane Police Capt. Judi Carl, who is in charge of the Department’s new downtown precinct, called the episode “an unusual incident” that is not indicative of the area’s recent reduction in violent crime.

“It is an unusual assault, because they were not known to each other, and that’s not very typical,” Carl said.

A couple left the Steam Plant restaurant at 159 S. Lincoln St. around 8 p.m. Monday, Carl said. They were attempting to leave through an alleyway when their path was blocked by a group of 8 to 10 teenagers. When they parted to allow the couple’s van to pass, someone struck the side of the vehicle with their palm and claimed the man who was driving struck one of the group, Carl said.

No one was struck by the van, she said.

When the man got out to check on injuries, he became embroiled in an argument with the teen who is now in custody, Carl said. The confrontation turned physical, and both sustained injuries that were treated at the scene, she said. The teenager is the only person in custody at this time.

Carl emphasized the department’s quick response, saying police were on scene within 2 minutes of multiple 911 calls. She said there’s no evidence to suggest the alleged assault was planned, saying it appeared the incident was an argument that escalated quickly.

“Downtown is a very safe place,” Carl said. If visitors downtown don’t feel safe, she urged them to call her precinct.

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