Pendleton man arrested for allegedly organizing group attack

By on Thursday, August 12th, 2021 in Columbia Basin News

WALLA WALLA – A Pendleton man has been arrested after allegedly directing his three sons, along with seven more, to arm themselves and beat up the people who he claims stole a vehicle that belonged to him last month.

Charles Thompkins Jr., 63, was arrested Sunday, Aug. 8, in Walla Walla and is accused of organizing the group on July 5, according to court documents. He is charged with first-degree robbery, three counts of first-degree assault, first-degree burglary, criminal mischief, and harassment.

The vehicle was located at a shop adjacent a residence on the 200 block of Prospect Avenue in Walla Walla. That is where Thompkins learned the vehicle was parked. Security footage from the residence shows a total of nine people got out of cars, two were armed with long guns and Thompkins and another man were carrying handguns.

The police report said one of the members of the Pendleton group gave the people inside the shop two minutes to come out or they were coming in. That’s when someone inside the shop called 911. The caller reported shots were fired and stayed on the line. The suspects can be heard coming into the shop and a fight begins. Three people were injured.

Deputies arrived almost immediately and detained individuals from the Pendleton group. Two were released first as they said they were on their way to the hospital, and they were eventually let go. All the subjects, aside from the two just mentioned, were photographed, and identified by deputies after they were stopped from leaving the scene.

A search warrant on two vehicles seized at the scene resulted in investigators finding firearms and ammunition in both vehicles. Three guns were sent to the Washington State Patrol crime lab for analysis.

Days after the July 5th incident, deputies said Thompkins messaged the guy who claims stole his vehicle. According to the arrest report, Thompkins has not provided any evidence of ownership to law enforcement.

Thompkins is being held in the Walla Walla County Jail on a $150,000 bond. His arraignment is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 23.

The other members of the Pendleton group were named in the police report, but no information has been released on what, if any, charges they face.