Trial slated for man accused of striking flag-displayer

Jul. 27—NEZPERCE — A three-day jury trial has been scheduled for a 76-year-old Kamiah man charged with allegedly striking another man who was displaying a “F*** Biden” flag on his pickup truck.

Chad R. Erickson was arraigned via Zoom on Wednesday morning before 2nd District Judge Mark Monson on a felony charge of aggravated battery using a deadly weapon or instrument.

Erickson pleaded not guilty. A pre-trial hearing was set for Nov. 9 at 10 a.m. and a three-day jury trial is scheduled to commence Nov. 29 beginning at 9 a.m.

Erickson is charged in connection with an altercation April 17 with David Bowers. According to court records, the incident occurred in Cloninger’s grocery store parking lot in Kamiah on April 17 when Erickson allegedly asked Bowers to remove the flag from his truck.

Erickson told Lewis County Deputy Morgan Saul that Bowers was driving through town with the flag. “I was raised better than that,” Erickson said to the deputy. “So was he … and we have laws against language like that in public.”

When Saul reminded Erickson that Bowers had First Amendment protection of free speech, Erickson reportedly replied that the “F” word was not protected speech.

“So I asked him to take his flag down and he said no,” Erickson reportedly said, according to court documents. “We got belligerent and I turned to leave. He pushed me from behind…. So I got to the truck and I pulled my wrench out to defend myself.”

Saul reported in an affidavit that eyewitness and video accounts of the altercation contradict some of Erickson’s description of events.

Erickson is represented by Wesley W. Hoyt. Lewis County Prosecutor Zachary Pall is representing the state.

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