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Teen arrested, charged with bullying kids for money

A 15-year-old Marcus Whitman Junior High School student was arrested for extortion last week after allegedly assaulting fellow students and threatening to beat them up if they didn’t give him money.

According to the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Department incident report, a ninth grade student reported to school officials on April 15 that the suspect had been assaulting him for the past two months. The teen said the attacks began with just punches on his arms and chest, but soon the suspect began demanding money.

The victim told School Resource Officer Deputy David Dial that the suspect attacked him and demanded $2 to $10 once or twice a week, telling him he would “kick his ass” if he did not pay him. In total, the victim said he had paid the suspect from $20 to $30.

The victim said the latest incident was on April 12, when the suspect approached him in wood shop class and told him to bring him $10 “or I’ll hit you in the face 10 times.” He told Dial he didn’t have enough money to pay the suspect, and decided to report the incidents because he was afraid of what the other boy would do.

The teen said the suspect always hit him very hard, not playfully, and he was certain that the other teen would beat him up if he did not give him money.

Dial then talked to several students who reportedly witnessed the attacks, including two students in the same wood shop class who said they saw the suspect punch and demand money from the victim.

They added that he had asked them to borrow money to pay the suspect and they believed he was genuinely afraid of the other teen.

Dial then talked to two other students who claimed the suspect had attacked them, too. The first student said the suspect threatened to beat him up if he didn’t complete a wood shop project for him, and the second said the suspect had been extorting money from him before he began attacking the other student.

A school official told Dial she had learned about the earlier attacks when that student’s mom called her and reported the incidents. The official said she learned it was the suspect committing the attacks and warned him to stop or the police would be called.

Dial then talked to the suspect, who denied attacking the other student and claimed he has a reputation for “being a fighter” and often gets accused of things he didn’t do.

The suspect went on to say that he had merely made a bet with the victim, and was only asking him to pay up when he lost. He said he never demanded money nor punched the other boy, and gave the names of two students who could confirm his story.

Only one of the students the suspect named was at school that day. He told Dial that the suspect told him to “tell the deputy it was a bet.”

He went on to say that he saw the suspect punch the victim on more than one occasion, demanding money and to use his CD player.

Dial then arrested the suspect and booked him into the Kitsap County Juvenile Detention Center on extortion and assault charges.

Kitsap County Juvenile Division Deputy Prosecutor Todd Dowell said the teen was charged with second-degree extortion, a C class felony.

After court deferment, he was ordered by Judge Leonard Costello to pay the victim $20, serve five days in detention and 24 hours of community service, along with 12 months probation.

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