VANCOUVER, Wash. -- A mother on a mission to get justice for her victimized son got some help from the On Your Side Investigators Wednesday when, after calls to the county prosecutor, charges were filed against her son's alleged attacker.
Marci Faile contacted KATU after she said her son, Chance Stephenson, 28, was beaten so badly by a stranger outside of the Q nightclub in downtown Vancouver that he needed surgery for a broken jaw. Faile said the medical bills soared past $50,000.
The alleged attacker admitted to police that he hit Stephenson and he was later arrested for felony assault, but the Clark County Prosecutors never filed charges, according to court records.
"It's heartbreaking, it's really hard," Faile said. "You can clearly see the separation of his teeth going clear down into his gum line."
Court records show Stephenson was leaving the the nightclub in downtown Vancouver, July 12, when confrontation ensued with a 21-year-old man leaving the bar with a group of girls. The On Your Side Investigators are not naming the man until we obtain formal charging documents.
"For some reason, this kid felt like Chance was harassing the girls in some way," Failed said. "e turned around and he said to my son, 'Dude you need to go the other way.' And Chance responded with 'I'm going to my car; it's right there.' And the kid turned around and hit him."
According to court records, the man at the bar admitted Stephenson was not being inappropriate with the girls and never threw a punch.
Faile said Stephenson managed to drive home. When he got there, he told his mom what happened.
Faile, an orthopedic consultant, checked his injuries and rushed him to the hospital. Vancouver police spokeswoman Kim Kapp said employees at PeaceHealth Medical Group called police with concerns a crime had been committed.
Upset and angry, Faile was hell-bent on helping police track down the man.
"So I, as a mother, went back to the nightclub," Faile said.
She found a picture of the alleged attacker from the night of the altercation - the man was posed with two girls in front of the club - which Faile said police used to help identify the man.
Vancouver Police arrested the alleged attacker four days later for assault. But when the man made his first court appearance, the deputy prosecutor didn't pursue charges. The On Your Side Investigators contacted the attorney handling the case Wednesday but were informed he was on vacation this week.
KATU obtained court documents that said charges were not filed because further investigation was necessary. The man's bail was exonerated and he was to be released. The documents did not state what further information was needed, but a legal assistant at the prosecutor's office said they were gathering more witness statements from police.
"This should have been swift justice for everyone - not only my son but for the kid that assaulted him. He admitted to it," Faile said.
However, after the On Your Side Investigators made several calls to the Clark County Prosecutor's Office, Chief Criminal Deputy Scott Jackson confirmed that they were going to file assault charges against the man on Wednesday.
"It's a relief," Faile said after KATU broke the news.
Faile said she remained skeptical after having lost some faith in the justice system as a result of this experience.
KATU called the alleged attacker who said he "felt threatened" the night of the fight and "had no other choice." He said he only learned later that Stephenson's jaw was broken but insisted, if he had known the extent of Stephenson's injuries, that he would have "stuck around."
The man said he was shocked to find out that he broke Stephenson's jaw and apologized for the pain he caused.
The man said he'd lost his job over the altercation since police made the arrest at his work.
The alleged attacker's next court appearance for the assault charge is September 9 at 1:30 p.m.