A Washington County circuit judge has sentenced a man to two years in prison for attacking another man at a get-together near Hillsboro in 2017.
Tasi Autele was convicted of third-degree assault on Nov. 1, in Washington County Circuit Court.
Prosecutors said Autele attacked another attendee at a gathering put on by a mutual friend in a rural area outside Hillsboro, apparently without provocation. According to the Washington County District Attorney's Office, Autele approached the man in a secluded field, out of sight of other partygoers, sometime on the night of Aug. 26, 2017, or the early morning hours of the next day, asked if he had fighting experience, and then put him in a chokehold and punched him repeatedly, fracturing his skull, nose and orbital bones around his eye.
Autele attempted to flee but was captured by Washington County sheriff's deputies. The victim survived but required "extensive medical attention" at OHSU Hospital.
After being arrested, Autele was released from custody and traveled to Hawaii, where he was reportedly residing at the time, court records show. After a warrant was issued for his arrest in December 2017, he was arrested in Hawaii and extradited to Oregon to face trial.
Autele's case went to trial Oct. 29. A jury acquitted Autele of second-degree assault, a more serious charge, but convicted him of third-degree assault. Both charges are felonies under Oregon law.
Judge Ricardo Menchaca sentenced Autele to two years in prison last Wednesday, Nov. 13. He was also ordered to pay more than $7,000 to his victim and undergo anger counseling.
According to court records, Autele is a former resident of Scappoose.
Autele is the founder of Big Island Dog Rescue, an animal rescue based in Hawaii. The organization and its partnership with the Columbia Humane Society in St. Helens was featured in a 2015 article in the South County Spotlight, a sister paper of the News-Times.
Prior to his 2017 indictment, Autele had no criminal record in Oregon. However, court documents indicate Autele had a prior felony conviction in at least one other state and has a criminal record in Hawaii, as well as Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota and Nevada.
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