A 31-year-old transient man who attacked another man at Olympia’s Capital Lakefair will serve a 9-month sentence after pleading guilty Wednesday.
Andrew B. Lapierre has been in custody since his July 16 arrest, and appeared before Thurston County Superior Court Judge Carol Murphy. He was initially charged with second-degree assault, but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge at the Wednesday hearing.
Chief criminal deputy prosecutor Andrew Toynbee said that the victim in the assault suffered pain in his neck and side, which required him to visit the hospital and take pain medication. He said the assault also changed the way the victim and his family view the world.
“In some ways, (the victim) and his family will never have things go back to the way they were before, which is unfortunate,” Murphy said.
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Toynbee and defense attorney John Hansen, of the Office of Assigned Counsel, both said that Lapierre was suffering from mental illness at the time of the assault.
“The underlying cause of the assault was mental health,” Toynbee said.
The Olympia Police Department gave the following account of the incident:
The male victim had parked his car at Marathon Park at about 3:30 p.m. and crossed the Capitol Lake pedestrian bridge heading toward Lakefair. When he reached the other side, he encountered Lapierre, whom he had never met before.
Lapierre asked the victim repeatedly whether he had fought for the Union or the Confederacy in the American Civil War. The victim tried to walk away, but Lapierre followed him, asking the question repeatedly.
The victim told Lapierre, “I’m just an American,” and Lapierre grabbed him by the neck, choking him.
The victim was eventually able to break free and reached Lakefair. He located two police officers, who found and arrested Lapierre.
Police said Lapierre had recently moved to Olympia from Delaware, and officers had several encounters with him in the days preceding the attack.