Teens arrested for beating at party

At least three arrests were made last week in the severe beating of a Central Kitsap High student at a birthday party in South Kitsap last month, according to the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office.

According to spokesman Deputy Scott Wilson, three South Kitsap High School students suspected of beating the 17-year-old victim unconscious Feb. 12 and sending him to the hospital with a severe head injury were taken into custody Friday and each charged with assault.

At the time, Wilson said more arrests were pending.

Jason William Mathwig, 18, and two other male teens were arrested by deputies in connection with the fight, which Wilson said is believed to have been a continuation of an incident that began at a basketball game between the two high schools played in Silverdale the night before.

According to court documents, several SK students alleged they had been “verbally taunted by CK students,” including the victim, during the Feb. 11 basketball game, but the victim denied being involved.

Mathwig was booked into Kitsap County Jail under a second-degree assault charge and held under $5,000 bail, while the other two teens were booked for fourth-degree assault and later released.

According to case manager Chris Casad of the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office, Mathwig is facing a more serious charge because he was believed to have been “responsible for inflicting substantial bodily harm on the victim.”

According to witness statements detailed in the probable cause statement filed by the prosecutor’s office, the victim and a companion arrived at a party shortly after 9 p.m. that Saturday at a home on Fairview Boulevard in Port Orchard that was attended by nearly 100 SKHS students and alumni.

Shortly after the pair arrived, witnesses said a group of about 40 to 50 people yelled “Let’s get ’em” and began to chase the victims, who ran back to their car and hid behind it. However, the crowd quickly found and began assaulting them.

According to more than one witness, Mathwig was seen kicking the victim in the head immediately before he was knocked unconscious. Shortly after that, the crowd dispersed and the injured teen’s companion was able to wake him and drive him home.

The following morning, the teen was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after ambulances were called to his home when he complained of severe pain. He immediately underwent brain surgery at the hospital and spent several days in intensive care. He is expected to need several more weeks of intensive physical therapy to recover.

Mathwig made his preliminary appearance in Kitsap County Superior Court on Friday. On Monday, Casad said there was a strong possibility that Mathwig would be charged with second-degree assault at his formal charging scheduled for yesterday.

Although Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the party location shortly after 10 p.m. the same night of the attack, Wilson said his office did not learn of the attack until the following day, when Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue was called to the home of the injured teen, who had been vomiting and complaining of pain all night long.

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