Prosecutor: Ocean Shores man ‘lost the fight he picked;’ declines to file charges in beating over masks

An Ocean Shores man who said he was attacked after confronting two men for not wearing masks was worried police were not properly investigating the case.

Now, the Grays Harbor County prosecuting attorney says she’s declining to file charges because he is the one who instigated the argument and physical violence.

Daniel Troublefield, 43, said he was at the Ocean Shores IGA last month when he called someone out for not wearing a mask. Inside the store, he said the conversation turned heated, and he thought that was the end of it.

But once he walked outside, he was taunted by the men.

“They kept berating me with expletives, calling me a snowflake and it’s not science, it’s a hoax,” Troublefield recalled. “To my regret, I walked up to the car. I was trying to explain it is science and you should be wearing a mask because you’re endangering me and everyone else in the store by not having a mask on.”

That’s when things escalated.

Troublefield said when one man tapped his chest, he flipped the man’s hat off. That’s when both men got out of the car.

Surveillance video showed someone being thrown to the ground. Troublefield said one man put him in a chokehold, took him to the ground and then pummeled his face. The beating lasted about 20 seconds. [View the surveillance video in our original report here or at the bottom of this page.]

Though he was beaten, Troublefield’s own actions were the reason the prosecutor declined to file charges.

In a Dec. 31 letter to the Ocean Shores Police Department, Grays Harbor County Prosecutor Katherine L. Svoboda said “the victim lost the fight he picked.”

Authorities said Troublefield pursued the suspect to his car and was being threatening and aggressive when he flipped up the suspect’s ball cap.

Svoboda said video of the fight showed Troublefield on top of the suspect at one point until “tides turn and he is reversed to his back.”

The letter, in part, follows:

“At this time, I am declining to file felony charges. Thank you for the investigation and your conclusions reached based on the investigation, which I agree with. The victim instigated the verbal disagreement and the physical altercation. He continued to pursue the suspect to his car and appears to verbally be aggressive to him as he is sitting in the driver’s seat, even reaching into the car and flipping his ball cap. The other occupants would testify about how the victim was threatening and being aggressive. Store employees believe the victim was the instigator. The victim was inconsistent in his statement and the video of the incident, and when confronted, admits to the discrepancies. The video of the fight actually has the victim on top and perhaps in a position of advantage when tides turn and he is reversed to his back. The victim lost the fight he picked.”

After the beating, Troublefield said he felt like police weren’t doing enough, he never threw a punch and even passed out.

“I’d like to see the two gentlemen locked up in jail. I’d like for them to pay for what they did,” Troublefield told KIRO 7 after the December attack.

Ocean Shores police and the county prosecutor don’t agree.