MUSKEGON, Mich. — Charges have been filed against a candidate for Muskegon County Circuit Court Judge.
Jason Kolkema, 51, an attorney, was charged with assault and battery, domestic violence by the 60th District Court in Muskegon after a video circulated online.
"We remind the public that a criminal charge is merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty," Muskegon County Prosecutor DJ Hilson.
The prosecutor's office says the incident happened inside 292 West Western around noon on Thursday.
A video surfaced on social media and allegedly shows who multiple witnesses identified as Kolkema repeatedly striking another person with an object. The video was taken by a witness through the window of The Leonard Building in Muskegon.
13 ON YOUR SIDE has made the decision to not post the video in full online because we recognize it can be triggering for some viewers.
To provide context to the charges, a small portion of the cellphone clip is contained in the video below.
The witness who shot the video wishes to remain anonymous.
In an interview with 13 ON YOUR SIDE, the witness says that they were ordering lunch nearby when they noticed the assault occurring. The witness then began to film the incident and decided later to post it online.
"I feel like a lot of times stuff like this happens and nothing gets done about it and people just get away with it. So I feel like the more I can get it out there, the more people can act on it and there'll be more action on it," the witness said about their decision to post the video.
Multiple other witnesses also say they witnessed the assault and have identified the assailant as Jason Kolkema.
When talking to the witness that filmed the incident, they noted that the parties in the video noticed them filming, Kolkema allegedly walked to the window and gave a "peace sign" then walked away.
When 13 ON YOUR SIDE reached out for comment, Kolkema said "I do not have any comment. I've been advised not to make a statement right now, but my attorney was working on something."
When asked to confirm whether or not Kolkema was in the video, he replied with "no comment."
Kolkema was arrested by the police on Friday and was released on a $500 bond.
Kolkema is running for 14th Circuit Court Judge and is currently an attorney at his law firm, Kolkema Law.
Investigators are asking anyone with video evidence to call Detective Alamillo at 724-6762 or the Muskegon County Prosecutor’s office at 231-724-6435.
If you are anyone you know is feeling unsafe or in danger you should call 911.
You can also reach out to the YWCA directly by calling their number at 616.454.9922.
Other local domestic violence help organizations in the area include:
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