Two minors charged with assault in connection with attack on Orting business owner

Staff writerNovember 14, 2013 

Two teenage boys accused of attacking an Orting bicycle shop owner are facing assault charges.

The 17-year-old and 15-year-old males, both Orting residents, have been charged with second-degree assault, according to charging documents.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Benton said Thursday that the 15-year-old is scheduled for arraignment Nov. 25.

The older youth has been arraigned and is being detained at Remann Hall. Benton said that, given his age, prosecutors will review his criminal history to determine if he will be tried as an adult or a juvenile. His next court appearance is set for Monday.

The News Tribune does not name juvenile crime suspects unless are charged as adults.

The charges stem from an Oct. 24 incident in which Trailside Cyclery owner Brian Backus suffered injuries in a confrontation at River Avenue and Bridge Street in Orting. Charging papers state Backus was attacked after confronting the suspects for allegedly damaging his personal bike outside his business.

Backus had to undergo surgery on a broken leg and closed his shop as a result.

He told The News Tribune on Thursday that he wouldn’t comment on the future of his business.

Orting Police Chief Bill Drake has said violence is unusual in the Puyallup Valley city of more than 6,700 people.

Backus disagrees, saying problems with the kids accused of attacking him are not new.

He said he’s frustrated that his health insurance has to cover the damage his attackers inflicted, while the minors are subject to what he calls a lenient juvenile justice system.

“It seems like an unlevel playing surface,” he said. “I’m kind of disgusted with how it works.”

According to charging papers, the older suspect admitted to the incident when contacted by officers, but claimed he felt threatened by Backus.

After being transported to Remann Hall, he became aggressive and said if he knew the bike shop owner “was going to whine he should have just ‘stomped him out,’ ” the papers state.

When asked by officers, the younger suspect also admitted to hitting Backus, “adding that the assault was ‘kind of brutal,’ ” according to charging papers.

Kari Plog: 253-597-8682

Kari Plog: 253-597-8682
Follow Kari on Twitter: @KariPlog

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