Snowblower fight sends neighbor to jail

February 19, 2019

Two neighbors fighting over where to pile snow left one man in the hospital and the other in jail.

The men first argued before the disagreement turned violent Friday in the 6600 block of North Whitehouse Street, near Holy Cross Cemetery in north Spokane.

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office reported that 48-year-old Michael P. Jones started punching and kneeing a man in his late 60s who had asked him to stop using his snowblower to throw snow on his shed and yard.

The victim was taken to a local hospital where he was treated and released, according to Deputy Mark Gregory. Jones was arrested on suspicion of assault.

The victim told deputies the spat began weeks earlier when Jones had cleared snow from an alleyway and blew it into his yard. Then on Friday, according to a news release, the victim said Jones emerged from his garage with his snowblower and again started throwing snow onto his property.

Last week saw heavy snowfall in the Spokane area, after weeks of dry conditions.

The man said he put a shovel in front of Jones’ path, which caused the snowblower to tip over, the release says. Jones tackled the man and began punching him in the head and face, said Gregory. He also jabbed his knee into the victim’s ribs.

Jones, however, described a different scenario.

He told deputies he began clearing snow from a disabled neighbor’s property a few weeks ago, but the victim began throwing snow back onto Jones’ property.

Jones told deputies he went out to clear the snow off again, and the victim ripped the snow chute off his snowblower, according to the news release. He said the two fell to the ground, but he wasn’t sure how that occurred.

He denied assaulting the man, and deputies did observe the chute of Jones’ snow blower sitting on his workbench.