Man pleads guilty, fined after assault on war protester

A 51-year-old Anacortes man who assaulted a young man protesting the Iraq war on an Oak Harbor street corner March 24 recently pleaded guilty to a gross misdemeanor charge, according to Assistant City Attorney Allison Cumberbatch.

Franz "Bud" Noble pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault, but was given a deferred sentence with the condition that he attend anger management counseling and pay a $300 fine.

Cumberbatch said the deferred sentence, which was part of a plea bargain, means Noble can come back to Oak Harbor Municipal Court and ask to withdraw his plea in two years. If the judge agrees, the charge will be wiped from his record.

Noble did not return a phone call for comment.

Noble was cited after he pushed a young man who was holding a sign in protest of the war at the corner of Highway 20 and Barrington Drive.

There's a pre-trial hearing next Tuesday in a case involving another middle-aged man accused of assaulting a war protester. Clayton Miller, 42, of Coupeville was charged with fourth-degree assault and reckless endangerment, both gross misdemeanor charges.

Miller is accused of assaulting 51-year-old Coupeville resident Janis Schurr as she was protesting at the corner of Highway 20 and Main Street in Coupeville. According to the Marshal's Office report, Miller wrestled a "peace flag" from her and drove with her on the hood of his car.

Miller's attorney, Bill Hawkins of Oak Harbor, said his client was upset because he thought the woman had violated flag etiquette by putting the flag on the ground.

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