Authorities are seeking help to identify a suspect believed to be responsible for a violent case of road rage near Centralia Saturday evening, according to the Lewis County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies had responded to Providence Centralia Hospital to reports of an assault and learned from the victim, a 22-year-old Centralia man, he had been traveling in his pickup west on Galvin Rd., west of Centralia, when he attempted to pass a green, compact sedan at around 6:15 p.m. However, the driver of the sedan moved into the eastbound lane, preventing the victim from passing, though the victim stated he was eventually able to drive around the car.
The victim said the green car then began following him and the victim pulled over in the 100 block of Joppish Rd. to explain to the other driver he had merely been attempting to pass. The other driver, described as a white male wearing a hooded sweatshirt and a flat-billed baseball hat, then approached the victim and, armed with a baseball bat, struck the rear window of the victim's vehicle before striking the victim in the face with the bat, fracturing his orbital socket.
The victim reported he then heard a female from the green car call to the assailant to stop and referred to him as "Matt" before the assailant returned to his vehicle and drove away.
Additional information regarding the suspect is unknown and those who believe they know his identity are encouraged to contact the Lewis County Sheriff's Office at (360) 740-1266 or, to leave an anonymous tip for possible cash reward, Lewis County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-748-6422. As of press time, he is being sought on charges of second-degree assault and third-degree malicious mischief.
The victim was reportedly treated and released from the hospital later that evening. The estimated damage to the window of the pickup is $80.