Man pleads guilty to hit-run in assault on Forks officer

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

By Rob Ollikainen

Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — A 24-year-old Forks man has pleaded guilty to hit-and-run with property damage and resisting arrest for a Jan. 18 incident that injured a Forks police officer.

Walter B. Martin-Perez was sentenced to 66 days in jail after pleading guilty to the amended charges in Clallam County Superior Court.

He was released Tuesday with credit for time already served in the Clallam County jail.

Martin-Perez originally was charged with second-degree assault with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest for backing a 1996 Ford Explorer into a patrol car driven by Officer Michael Gentry during a late-night traffic stop at the Evergreen 76 gas station then fleeing on foot.

Gentry chased Martin-Perez and tackled him in the parking lot, breaking his lower left leg and left wrist as they hit the ground.

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

Gentry underwent three surgeries for his broken tibia at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Multiple surgeries were required because of extensive swelling and the severity of the break just below the knee.

Forks Police Administrator Rick Bart said Gentry is recovering in a wheelchair and hopes to return to light duty within the next few weeks.

“He’s progressing along slowly,” Bart said Wednesday. “Every day is a little better for him.”

Gentry, a fourth-year Forks police officer, had stopped Martin-Perez for driving erratically through Forks shortly before midnight Jan. 18.

The deadly weapon listed in the original assault charge was the vehicle Martin-Perez was driving.

Martin-Perez agreed to plead guilty to the lesser hit-and-run charge as part of an offer from Clallam County Chief Criminal Deputy John Troberg.

The sentence was handed down by Clallam County Superior Court Judge Erik Rohrer.

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

Last modified: March 26. 2014 6:42PM
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