Forks man to be arraigned today in altercation with police officer; Gentry in satisfactory condition in Seattle

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Walter B. Martin-Perez will be arraigned today on charges of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest after a Jan. 18 incident that left a Forks police officer hospitalized with a broken leg and wrist.

Martin-Perez, of Forks, will be arraigned at 9 a.m. in Clallam County Superior Court.

Forks police said the 23-year-old backed a 1996 Ford Explorer into a patrol car driven by Officer Michael Gentry after Gentry pulled him over at the Evergreen 76 gas station for erratic driving.

Martin-Perez tried to flee on foot, but Gentry tackled him in the parking lot, police said.

Gentry, a fourth-year Forks police officer, suffered a shattered tibia below his left kneecap and a broken left wrist as the pair hit the ground, Forks Police Administrator Rick Bart has said.

Gentry has had three surgeries at Harborview Medical Center over the past two weeks.

He was listed in satisfactory condition at the Seattle hospital Thursday.

Forks Mayor Bryon Monohon touched on Gentry's condition in his State of the City remarks at the Forks Chamber of Commerce meeting Wednesday.

“[He] is in a seven-hour surgery as I speak to place all of the metal hardware in his leg,” Monohon said.

Home soon

Gentry is expected to be discharged from the hospital and return home to Forks on Sunday or Monday, Monohon said.

The incident occurred shortly before midnight.

Martin-Perez soon realized Gentry was incapacitated by the fall and fled. Witnesses followed him to the Forks Mobile Home Park but lost sight of him there.

Martin-Perez was arrested in the Forks area two days later.

He is being held in the Clallam County jail on $10,000 bail.

Second-degree assault with a deadly weapon is a Class B felony punishable by a maximum 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Resisting arrest is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum 90 days in jail or a $1,000 fine.

Gentry told investigators that Martin-Perez was traveling at low speeds on Calawah Way before he took a wide turn onto U.S. Highway 101 and overcorrected.

The sport utility vehicle crossed the centerline twice before taking a wide turn into the gas station, Gentry said.

In September, Forks Police Sgt. Michael Rowley arrested Martin-Perez for investigation of negligent driving and driving with open alcohol containers.

During that stop, Rowley reported that he “started yelling” at Martin-Perez because the suspect put his SUV into reverse, court papers said.

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



Reporter Arwyn Rice contributed to this report.

Last modified: January 30. 2014 7:16PM
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