Sequim man to be arraigned Friday on charges of assaulting deputies

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM — A Sequim man accused of assaulting two Clallam County Sheriff’s deputies and damaging a store before being brought under control with an officer’s stun gun is set to be arraigned in Clallam County Superior Court on Friday.

Daniel G. Gockerell, 54, who remained in the Clallam County jail in lieu of $150,000 bail Saturday, was charged Friday with two counts of third-degree assault and one count each of attempting to disarm a police officer, hit and run with property damage, and fourth-degree assault-domestic violence.

“This is very dangerous, completely out of control behavior,” Clallam County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney John Troberg said.

Gockerell allegedly ran into the front wall and door of Thomas Building Center at 301 W. Washington St. in a silver minivan at about 6:40 a.m. Tuesday.

General manager Tony Steinman estimated the damage at between $10,000 and $12,000.

He was arrested at his Belfield Avenue home, about a mile away, after driving through his fence, punching Deputy Brandon Stoppani in the head and being subdued with a stun gun, the Sheriff’s Office said.

At the Sequim Police Department, Gockerell allegedly struggled with Deputy Matt Murphy for his pistol.

Murphy’s hand was cut and required three stitches, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Gockerell also had reportedly punched a woman in the head at his home just as law enforcement arrived, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The unidentified woman was taken to Olympic Medical Center for treatment.

Deputies said they found a .22-caliber rifle and two loaded magazines in the shed, less than two feet away from where Gockerell was arrested and recovered five rifles from the home’s garage.

Harry Gasnick of Clallam Public Defender requested during the Friday hearing that Gockerell’s bail be reduced and that he be released from jail into a substance abuse program.

Clallam County Superior Court Judge Erik Rohrer denied the request.

A mental evaluation after his arrest showed that Gockerell has substance- abuse issues, Troberg said.

Troberg urged that bail be kept at $150,000 because of the seriousness of what Gockerell is accused of and his criminal history.

“The court is not going to reduce the bail amount,” Rohrer said.

“When you add [Gockerell’s] history to it, there’s great concern on the court’s part.”

Gockerell has a 1994 conviction for first-degree assault out of Kitsap County, Troberg said.

Gockerell also pleaded guilty to a hit and run collision with another vehicle along U.S. Highway 101 in Clallam County and was sentenced to nine months in jail, according to Superior Court records.

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsula
dailynews.com.

Last modified: January 12. 2014 6:57PM
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