Spokane County man sent to jail over neighbor dispute about snow

Spokane County man sent to jail over neighbor dispute about snow
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Spokane County deputies arrested a man Friday for assault, saying he injured his neighbor in a dispute about where to put excess snow.

Sheriff’s deputies say Mark Robertson, 66, told them he had to clear snow from his backyard shed because his neighbor was using a snowblower and the snow was ending up on his shed and fence.

He told deputies his neighbor, 48-year old Michael P. Jones, was asked not to do so, to which Jones allegedly replied “[expletive] off.”

Friday night, deputies say Jones was again using his snow blower and throwing snow on Robertson’s property. Robertson put his shovel in front of Jones to stop him and deputies say Jones ran over the shovel, which caused the snow blower to tip over. Then, Jones allegedly tackled Robertson and began punching him in the head and face.

“I tried to stop him and that’s when he grabbed me, threw me on the ground and beat the hell out of me,” Robertson said.

Deputies say Jones also used his weight to drop his knees onto Robertson’s ribs while he was on the ground. Robertson suffered two fractured ribs and a broken facial bone — he was taken by ambulance to the hospital where he was treated and released.

Deputies interviewed Jones, who said he had been clearing snow from his disabled neighbor’s property. He said the victim of the assault was throwing snow from his property onto the disabled neighbor’s property. Those neighbors told KXLY that was not the case, and that Jones had caused other problems in the neighborhood in recent years.

Jones said he went out to clear the snow off again and said Robertson ripped the chute off his snow blower. He said the Robertson fell to the ground, but he didn’t know why. He said he never assaulted the man.

Deputies say they did see the snow blower chute on Jones’ work bench.

Deputies initially arrested Jones and booked him on 4th degree assault charges, which is a misdemeanor. “Because the injuries were significant, that bumped the charge up to a felony charge,” said Spokane County Sheriff Cpl. Mark Gregory. “We don’t go around assaulting people. That’s just a good way to get yourself put in jail.”

Jones is no longer listed on the county jail roster. KXLY was unable to reach Jones for a comment Monday evening.

Robertson said the attack left him and his wife, who witnessed the alleged attack, traumatized. Robertson is recovering but says he’s still in a lot of pain and will be out of work for several weeks. He is planning to get a restraining order against his neighbor and said he may pursue other legal action.

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