Hamilton Sign Supporters

Men wearing highlighted vests park their vehicles in front of the Hamilton sign on June 23 in Napavine.

A 17-year-old juvenile male was arrested at a rally at the Hamilton billboard on June 22 after he allegedly hit a person with a baseball bat while being involved in a fight, according to Napavine Police Chief Chris Salyers.

The juvenile male was arrested on suspicion of second-degree assault and his case was referred to the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office for additional charging, Salyers said.

Salyers said a car full of mostly juveniles pulled up to the rally and a woman in the back of the car began “yelling and screaming” at the crowd of people supporting the Hamilton billboard.

“There appeared to be a can — a beer can — thrown at the vehicle that they were yelling and screaming out of and the car pulls forward, everybody in the car jumps out, kind of a scuffle between a few people ensued,” Salyers said. 

According to Salyers, it was unclear whether the juvenile was pushed into the car or whether he went to the car to grab the baseball bat, but he emerged from the car with the bat and “hit this guy upside the head with it.”

The Chronicle had received a report that racial slurs were being yelled at the juvenile male, who is Black, but Salyers said he did not hear any racial slurs being yelled, but did note there was a lot of yelling back and forth that took place.

“A lot of yelling and screaming going on but it was pretty much over at that point,” Salyers said.

The Napavine Police Department has the entire incident on video, Salyers said.

Salyers added that to him, the incident was “sad” and “people want to make it about race, it’s not about race, it was just a bad incident.”

(1) comment

Logger Jim

How dare the Napavine Police chief say this wasn't about race? It's always about race! How dare he claim the incident is on video? Has he no respect for other's privacy? Enough is enough! Defund the Napavine Police Department! He needs to resign and be sent to prison just like all the other racist bigots whose opinion I disagree with!!

This is a sarc post. I just wanted to get in before HeavyHemi and YourNeighbor start in with the hand wringing and pearl clutching.

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