By JOE SMILLIE
Peninsula Daily News
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PORT ANGELES –– Matthew K. McDaniel, 27, arrested Sunday night on allegations he assaulted Clallam County Deputy Mark Millet, was released from jail without charges Monday afternoon after what prosecutors are calling a mistake.
“This was a blown call,” Clallam County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Mark Nichols said. “Due to what I'll call a perfect storm of increased caseload and decreased resources.”
Prosecutors on Tuesday morning were working to file felony charges against McDaniel.
As of this writing, no warrant had been issued for the arrest of McDaniel, who currently has no permanent address.
McDaniel was taken into custody Sunday by deputies after allegedly shoving and shouting at
Millet, who was reportedly attempting to evict him from Railroad Bridge Park in Sequim for being there after the dusk closing time.
Chief Corrections Deputy Ron Sukert confirmed McDaniel was released on an order from the proseuctor's office at 2:03 p.m. Monday.
Nichols said officers arrested an “unusually high number of suspects” over the weekend, and the prosecutor's office was short-staffed.
That forced the prosecutor's office to put a deputy normally assigned to the office's civil division, which represents the county and its agencies and officials, to work on criminal cases.
“And some of the instructions got lost in translation,” Nichols said.
Nichols said that the McDaniel should have been charged, or kept in jail on a 72-hour hold.
But instead the decision was to release him, with charges to be filed later.
Nichols said the prosecutor's office had apologized to Millet for releasing his alleged attacker.
“And we apologize to the community as well for this,” Nichols said.
In a phone call Monday night, McDaniel told the Peninsula Daily News he recently lost his job as a welder and has been living out of his vehicle.
McDaniel was booked into jail for investigation of third-degree assault for allegedly attacking an officer, a felony. He was also arrested for second-degree criminal trespass, a misdemeanor.
“This case raises serious concerns over officer safety,” Nichols said.
“And our office is taking corrective action to file felony charges against Mr. McDaniel.”
The report issued Monday by Chief Criminal Deputy Ron Cameron said McDaniel, as
Millet approached his vehicle, began yelling obscenities and moved toward Millet.
Cameron's report said McDaniel pushed the deputy before Millet deployed his taser to subdue McDaniel.
rom Clallam County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Ron Cameron, McDaniel yelled obscenities and advanced on Deputy Mark Millet shortly before midnight Sunday at the park at , 2151 W. Hendrickson Road.
Millet was on a routine nighttime patrol of the park to make sure it was empty. The park, sponsored by the Jamestown S'Klallam tribe, closes at dark.
Cameron said Millet approached McDaniel's vehicle, which was parked on the road near the main parking lot.
As Millet approached the car, McDaniel allegedly began yelling obscenities and advancing toward Millet after being ordered by Millet to stay at the car, Cameron's report stated.
McDaniel allegedly pushed the deputy before Millet deployed his Taser weapon to subdue McDaniel.
McDaniel was later taken into custody by other responding officers.
Cameron's report said McDaniel is a transient who was sleeping in the park.
It also said investigators found a loaded Springfield XD .40 pistol with 16 rounds of ammunition, along with evidence of alcohol and marijuana, while searching McDaniel's car after they impounded it.
Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at email@example.com.