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Seattle couple charged with assaulting Renton police officer
A Seattle man convicted of murder and his wife have been charged with second-degree assault in the attack on an off-duty Renton police officer trying to defuse a road-rage incident June 1 on State Route 167.
Charged Wednesday by King County prosecutors were Tony Lee Combs, 33, and Nancy Walton Drahold, 31.
They were being held in the King County Jail in Kent, Combs on $175,000 bail and Drahold on $100,000 bail. Arraignment is June 18 at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center.
The 37-year-old police officer, Randy Jensen, a 10-year veteran of the Renton force, suffered facial lacerations, sore ribs and multiple contusions; he was treated at Valley Medical Center and released.
He was expected to return to work this week.
Jensen was northbound in his private vehicle on SR 167 at about 1:30 p.m. Friday. At the freeway’s interchange with Interstate 405, he witnessed a dispute after a white Mercedes merging onto SR 167 almost hit a Toyota Corolla on the road, according to charging documents.
The Mercedes, driven by Combs, stopped, blocking all traffic turning east onto Grady Way, including the Toyota. Combs and Drahold got out of their car and walked toward the Toyota. At the same time, Jensen got out of his car, displayed his badge and identified himself as a police officer.
His wife and three-year-old daughter were in the family van.
According to prosecutors, Combs took a swing at Jensen and Drahold scratched his face. Combs continued punching Jensen in the face. Jensen was knocked to the ground, face down. Combs put him in a chokehold and continued to punch Jensen’s head and body. Jensen eventually was able to get up.
Combs and Drahold then drove away in the Mercedes but were arrested later driving Drahold’s Cadillac in Renton.
Combs told investigators he didn’t get into a near collision and his Mercedes had stalled in the intersection. He got out of his car with Drahold to explain this to Jensen, who had told him to get going.
Combs told investigators he didn’t know Jensen was a police officer during the assault and he didn’t show his badge until after the altercation. Combs told investigators that Jensen grabbed their shirts, at which point Combs “put him on the ground.”
Combs told investigators that Jensen never attempted to strike him.
According to prosecutors, 11 citizens called 911; investigators spoke with 10 of them. The witnesses confirmed Jensen’s account of the incident nor did any see Jensen provoke the assault.
In setting bail, prosecutors wrote they were concerned that Combs and Drahold would fail to appear at court hearings.
Combs’ criminal history includes convictions for second-degree murder in 1995, third-degree child rape in 2002, assault, vehicle theft and tampering with a witness.
Drahold has convictions for loitering, prostitution, fourth-degree assault and forgery.