Man Accused of Punching, Kicking Man in Centralia on Friday 


A Centralia man is facing assault charges for allegedly attacking a man in Centralia on Friday. 

Hunter William Buck, 35, of Centralia, is accused of hitting and kicking the victim while the victim and a companion were outside smoking in the 300 block of North Gold Street. 

Buck then reportedly “ran across the street with a stick and broke it on a parking post” in a nearby lot, according to court documents. 

The companion flagged down an officer with the Centralia Police Department at the intersection of North Gold and East Maple streets. The responding officers observed the victim’s “right eye was swollen shut and he had blood coming from his nose,” according to court documents. Hospital staff later confirmed the victim suffered an orbital wall fracture. 

Buck was identified as the alleged assailant via video surveillance from the nearby parking lot. The video didn’t show the assault, but it did show the suspect breaking a stick on the parking lot post, according to court documents. 

Officers were unable to locate Buck on March 25. 

The next day, police received a call from a grocery store regarding a trespassing violation. When officers arrived, they found the trespassed person — Buck — matched the physical description of the assault suspect and was wearing the same clothes as the suspect in the surveillance video, according to court documents. 

Buck was arrested on an unrelated warrant and was booked into the Lewis County Jail at 9:55 a.m. on March 26. He has since been charged with second-degree assault. 

When asked about the March 25 assault, Buck reportedly “denied assaulting anyone but admitted to breaking a stick on a parking sign.” 

At the jail, Buck was reportedly asked if he had any injuries and he allegedly replied, “I hit him as hard as I could,” according to court documents. 

Buck’s bail was initially set at $15,000, but Deputy Prosecutor Scott Jackson asked Judge James Lawler on Monday to raise Buck’s bail to $50,000 due to Buck’s criminal history, which includes nine arrest warrants and three assault convictions, according to Jackson. 

“We believe that bail is necessary,” he said during Buck’s preliminary appearance hearing on Monday. 

Buck, who appeared at his Monday hearing via video from the jail, told Lawler he wished to represent himself and wanted to plead not-guilty by reason of insanity. 

When asked if he had any legal experience that would justify him representing himself in court, Buck said “I have no legal experience but I am very smart.” 

Lawler granted Jackson’s request for $50,000 bail and set the case over to Thursday, March 31 for review.