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Sunday, September 22, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Victim of alleged assault in fight between Spokane neighbors over snow broke 2 ribs, bone in face, court records say

UPDATED: Thu., Feb. 21, 2019, 4:14 p.m.

Michael Jones, who is suspected of assaulting a  neighbor over a dispute involving snow removal,  listens during a first court appearance on Wednesday in Spokane County Superior Court in Spokane. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Michael Jones, who is suspected of assaulting a neighbor over a dispute involving snow removal, listens during a first court appearance on Wednesday in Spokane County Superior Court in Spokane. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

A man accused of attacking his neighbor over blowing snow onto each others’ properties appeared Wednesday in Spokane County Superior Court where his bond was set at $2,000.

The fight on Friday began when suspect Michael Jones, 48, drove his car down the alley between his house and victim Mark Robertson’s house at 5:25 p.m., according to court documents.

Robertson, who is in his late 60s, was standing in the alley behind his house on the 6600 block of North Whitehouse Street, clearing snow off his shed.

He said Jones swerved his car at him and then turned his car and “pointed” it at him, court records say. Robertson’s wife told him to knock it off.

Jones pulled his car into his garage and then came back with his snowblower and began blowing snow back onto Robertson’s property. Robertson “placed his shovel in front of the snowblower” and Jones “ran the shovel over with his snowblower,” causing it to tip over, according to court documents.

Robertson said Jones then tackled him to the ground, got on top of him and punched him in the face multiple times, court records say. Robertson said Jones also jumped up multiple times and landed his knees on his ribs.

Deputies arrived in response to a call from Robertson’s wife and arrested Jones, who was charged with fourth-degree assault, which was later changed to second-degree assault. Robertson was taken to the hospital and found to have two broken ribs and a broken bone in his face, according to court documents.

“This is a troubling set of facts,” Superior Court Judge Tim Fennessy said Wednesday. “I don’t understand what led to this behavior.”

Jones and his attorney Christian Phelps did not respond to a request for comment from The Spokesman-Review on Wednesday.

Jones last week told deputies that the tension over snow with Robertson began weeks ago when Robertson allegedly threw snow onto Jones’ property.

He said Robertson had ripped the snow chute off Jones’ snowblower, according to a news release from the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

Jones said on Friday he and Robertson fell to the ground, but he wasn’t sure how it happened, and he denied assaulting Robertson.

Robertson declined a request to be interviewed by The Spokesman-Review on Wednesday.

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