The founder-owner of a very popular eatery in the Tri-Cities has been charged in connection with an assault last December, in a story published by the Tri-City Herald.

Joel Watson, the founder, and owner facing charge

Watson, who's made a big impact on the community with his enormous fund-raising and other multiple community efforts, was allegedly involved in a fight with his girlfriend last December.

According to reports, Watson, who opened Just Joel's on Kennewick Ave. just over five years ago, was returning home with the woman after a night out and they began to argue. He allegedly began hitting her while driving on I-182 not far from the 20th Ave. Pasco exit. He eventually dropped her off at her home, earlier he allegedly tried to get her to get out of his vehicle.

Pasco Police handled the call

Reports indicate the woman did not call the police immediately, instead, an anonymous caller told the dispatcher she had been assaulted. The caller asked for an officer well-check on the woman. No information was given as to whom authorities believe made that call.

Because the incident occurred in Pasco, it was transferred from KPD to PPD.  Pasco Police contacted her around 3:24 AM on December 19th.  She ended up going to Trios Emergency Room at Southridge and was diagnosed with a broken nasal bone.

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Her face was bruised and swollen, and officers who initially responded to the call said she was in obvious pain. Now, following an investigation, a Superior Court judge has ruled the Franklin County Prosecutors' office can move forward with a charge of Second Degree Assault with Domestic Violence, which is a felony.

His initial court date is set for July 12th in Franklin County.

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