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SK teen sentenced for beating at party

A South Kitsap man who kicked a Central Kitsap High student in the head at a party last February was sentenced to seven months in jail last week for the assault, according to the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office.

Deputy Prosecutor Claire Bradley said Jason William Mathwig, 18, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault, a charge stemming from a group attack on the 17-year-old victim.

At least three South Kitsap High School students were arrested after the Feb. 12 beating, which the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office said is believed to have been sparked by an incident that began at a basketball game between the two high schools the night before.

Bradley said a total of five people have been arrested in connection with the attack, but Mathwig was the only defendant facing charges in Superior Court. The rest she expected to be prosecuted in District Court.

At the time of his arrest, prosecutors said Mathwig was facing a more serious charge because he was believed to have been “responsible for inflicting substantial bodily harm on the victim.”

According to more than one witness, Mathwig was seen kicking the victim in the head immediately before he was knocked unconscious. Bradley said the victim is not fully recovered after the assault. After months of rehabilitation, she said “he is doing pretty well, but he will still have long-term affects.”

According to witness statements, the victim and another male, an 18-year-old CKHS student, arrived at the party shortly after 9 p.m. It was held at a home on Fairview Boulevard in Port Orchard and 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 court documents, several SK students alleged they had been “verbally taunted by CK students,” including the victim, during a basketball game the night before, but the victim denied being involved.

Shortly after the victim was knocked out, the crowd dispersed and the injured teen’s companion was able to wake him and drive him home.

After vomiting and complaining of pain all night long, the next morning the victim was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he underwent brain surgery and spent several days in intensive care.

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