Woman arrested after assault, threat reported

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WALLA WALLA — Police arrested a 35-year-old woman Monday after she allegedly shoved another woman off a porch and threatened her uncle with a steak knife, according to Walla Walla Police Department reports.

According to Tim Bennett, police department spokesman, Melani Hughes assaulted Kelli Surratt, 30, after Surratt made allegations Hughes was “involved in criminal activity.”

Hughes pushed the younger woman, causing her to fall over a porch railing. Hughes’ uncle, Tommy Smith, 56, came to the aid of Surratt, according to documents filed in court this morning, and attempted to detain Hughes to keep her from continuing the assault on Surratt, who apparently is Smith’s girlfriend.

Hughes, who is 5-feet 10-inches tall and weighs 240 pounds, became enraged that her uncle would side with his girlfriend rather than with family, according to court documents. Hughes broke free of her uncle, and allegedly went to the kitchen and grabbed a steak knife, then advanced on Smith, according to police.

When officer’s arrived on scene, the household was in an uproar, and family members had apparently disarmed Hughes. Witnesses gave contradictory statements about Hughes’ use of the knife, according to Bennett, who added Smith’s mother, Vera Smith, 82, did turn over a knife to police.

“She washed the knife thoroughly before handing it to police,” Bennett said.

Hughes appeared in court this morning on investigation of second-degree assault and fourth-degree assault. Her bail was set at $10,000.

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