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Former penitentiary inmate appears for alleged officer assault

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A former Washington State Penitentiary inmate appeared Monday in Walla Walla County Superior Court for allegedly beating up a corrections officer.

David R. Yeager, 27, was charged Oct. 22 with custodial assault on Oct. 4. According to court records, officers confronted Yeager about a “bulge” under his shirt, and he refused to show them what he was hiding. Then he lifted his shirt, exposing “papers stuffed in his waistband.”

He refused to give the items to officers, records stated, said, “You want to fight about it?,” and punched an officer in the face. The officer tried tackling Yeager, records stated, and Yeager punched him several more times.

Another officer assisted, records stated, with others also arriving.

The initial officer was taken to Providence St. Mary Medical Center with swelling and redness to his face and neck, records stated. Surveillance video also revealed footage of the alleged attack.

On Monday, defense attorney Jesse Montagnino was appointed to represent Yeager, whose arraignment hasn’t been scheduled.

He was allowed out of jail on Tuesday with conditions, including waiting for his mother to pick him up and living on South Post Street in Spokane.

Yeager’s criminal history dates at least back to 2010 and includes 10 cases in Benton, Spokane, Snohomish, and Walla Walla counties, according to Washington Courts online records.

Emily Thornton can be reached at or 509-526-8325.

Emily Thornton covers courts and emergency services, as well as other various stories. She has been in the newspaper industry off and on since roughly 1999 and lived primarily on the West Coast, but also Florida and Europe.