Man guilty in assault on Clallam County sheriff's deputy

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — A Clallam County jury has found Matthew K. McDaniel guilty of assaulting a Clallam County sheriff's deputy at Railroad Bridge Park.

McDaniel, 27, was sentenced to 81 days and released from the Clallam County jail because he had earned credit for good time served, said John Troberg, the county deputy prosecuting attorney who handled the case.

McDaniel was convicted Wednesday of third-degree assault of a law enforcement officer for shoving Deputy Mark Millet after McDaniel was awakened in his vehicle shortly before midnight Feb. 3.

“I think the jury did the right thing,” Troberg said.

Clallam County Superior Court Judge George L. Wood did not impose state Department of Corrections supervision because McDaniel has no felony or misdemeanor criminal history and plans to seek employment in another state.

McDaniel is a certified welder who recently had lost his job when he was arrested.

McDaniel's testimony

On cross-examination, McDaniel said Millet became upset when he didn't immediately comply with the deputy's demands.

McDaniel said he shoved Millet after the lawman slammed him against his sport utility vehicle and put his hands around his neck, cutting off his airflow.

Millet denied that he choked or attempted to strangle McDaniel.

The deputy was investigating a trespass at the Sequim park, which closes at dusk.

He was advised by dispatchers that the owner of the vehicle had a concealed-pistol license, which made him “a little more cautious,” Millet said.

A pistol was discovered inthe vehicle after McDaniel was arrested.

Millet wrote in the arrest narrative that McDaniel yelled an expletive when he asked him to step out of the vehicle.

McDaniel “began using his arms and legs to scoot toward the door in a fast-paced uncontrolled manner,” Millet wrote.

“McDaniel's actions made me feel that my safety was in jeopardy and that he was about to assault me.”

Overpowered deputy

Standing 6 feet tall and weighing 265 pounds at the time of his arrest, McDaniel got out of the vehicle and overpowered the deputy after Millet grabbed his wrist to try to control him, Millet wrote.

Millet drew his stun gun and gave orders to McDaniel, who then “squared up toward me and continued yelling obscenities.”

The deputy fired his stun gun and placed McDaniel in handcuffs.

“We don't take these things lightly,” said county Chief Criminal Deputy Ron Cameron on Wednesday after the verdict was announced.

“We don't take any assault lightly, and when an officer is trying to do his duty and gets assaulted in the process, we certainly aren't going to turn our backs to it.”

The case drew more publicity when McDaniel mistakenly was released from the jail. McDaniel turned himself in when he found out about the error.

Troberg said he spoke with two jurors after the trial, who indicated that they simply had followed the law.

“The defense [Loren Oakley] certainly did a good job with what they had,” Troberg added.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: April 18. 2013 5:54PM
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