Snohomish man allegedly assaulted brother over vaccine

A fight over COVID-19 vaccinations ended with minor injuries, hurt feelings and one man in jail.

By Jessie Stensland / Whidbey News-Times

A fight over COVID-19 vaccinations between two brothers at an Oak Harbor home Sept. 4 ended with minor injuries, hurt feelings and one man in jail, according to court documents.

John S. Martin, a 55-year-old Snohomish resident, appeared in Island County Superior Court Sept. 7. The judge found probable cause existed to believe he committed the crime of assault in the second degree, a felony domestic-violence crime.

The two brothers told a deputy who responded to the scene just after 11 a.m. that they had gotten into a heated argument over vaccinations, according to a report by a deputy with the Island County Sheriff’s Office.

The alleged victim said they were yelling at each other and Martin challenged him to fight. He admitted pushing his brother, but claimed Martin then pushed him to the ground and put him in a “rear naked choke hold,” the report states.

The man said he couldn’t breathe and was going to pass out, so he bit Martin’s arm. The deputy noted that he had blood around his mouth and redness around his neck consistent with the story.

Martin told a somewhat different version. He said his wife got in the middle of the brothers when they were fighting and that his brother shoved her. In response, he put his brother in a choke hold and assisted him to the ground, the report states.

Martin said his brother also bit his arm, clawed his face and punched him in the crotch.

This story originally appeared in the Whidbey News-Times, a sister publication to The Herald.

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