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Wednesday, July 16, 2008 - Page updated at 04:29 PM

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Man arrested after hitting golfer with club on course, police say

A 33-year-old man has been booked into King County Jail after he allegedly struck a fellow golfer on the head with a 6-iron club during a fight Sunday on the Auburn Golf Course.

Seattle Times staff reporter

A 33-year-old man has been booked into King County Jail after he allegedly struck a fellow golfer on the head with a 6-iron club during a fight Sunday at Auburn Golf Course, police said.

The victim, James Compton, 45, of Puyallup, lay on the 14th green "bleeding profusely" as a friend tried to stop the bleeding with a bandage, according to court documents. Compton was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center and remains in the intensive-care unit, where he was listed Tuesday in serious condition.

The suspect, Nicholas Shampine, also of Puyallup, is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail for investigation of first-degree assault. A spokesman for the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office said the deadline for filing criminal charges is today.

According to police, Compton, his two stepsons and a friend were playing a round of golf Sunday afternoon when they complained to the course marshal that the group ahead of them was playing too slowly, court records show. Shampine was part of the second group of golfers.

A heated argument then escalated between the two groups of men, and Shampine's brother and Compton got into a shoving match, according to court documents.

Shampine "charged at Compton to protect his brother" and swung his 6-iron at Compton's head, "striking him hard," the documents say. Officers noted that the force of the blow bent the club's shaft, according to the documents.

The fight ended immediately after Compton fell to the ground, and Shampine was arrested at the scene, said Sgt. Scott Near, spokesman for the Auburn Police Department.

Compton's wife told police her husband had suffered a broken cheekbone and a skull fracture and had blood in the brain, according to court documents. His family declined to comment when reached Tuesday at Harborview.

Employees of the municipal golf course said Tuesday they were still reeling from the incident.

"I've been in the golf business 30 years; I've never seen anything like this," said Chris Morris, the course's golf professional.

Sonia Krishnan: 206-515-5546 or skrishnan@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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