BREAKING NEWS: Man wanted in car-ramming incident arrested in Port Angeles

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News
PORT ANGELES — Port Angeles police tonight arrested Michael J. Moyle, the man accused of ramming the car of a family into a power pole Wednesday.

Deputy Police Chief Brian Smith said Moyle, 28, was arrested inside of a residence off Mount Angeles Road at about 8:30 p.m..

An informant tipped police at 6:25 p.m. that Moyle was staying at the residence on the 1000 block of Craig Road. Undercover officers arrived shortly thereafter and formed a perimeter, police said

Police receive consent from the owner or a renter to search the residence, Smith said.

“He essentially surrendered without incident,” Smith said.

Moyle, who is described as a transient living in the Port Angeles area, was entered into a nationwide alert system for law enforcement last week.

The arrest was a joint effort of the Port Angeles Police and Fire departments, the Clallam County Sheriff's Office and the State Patrol.

Moyle was booked into the Clallam County jail on investigation of first-degree assault, Smith said.

Deputy Police Chief Smith, no relation to the other Smith, said police don't know why the driver of a black Ford Mustang, believed to be Moyle, chased a Su­baru sedan from Albertsons supermarket on Lauridsen Boulevard and rammed it at high speed about a half-mile south on South Laurel Street.

The collision sent the car into a telephone pole and injured two adults in the front seat and two children — ages 2 and 5 — riding in the back seat.

The most seriously injured was the 5-year-old boy, Aaron Baker, who was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center for treatment of a head injury and a broken leg.

He was discharged from the Seattle hospital by Saturday.

Two others hurt in the wreck — driver Stewart Baker, 24, and 2-year-old Lavender Baker — were treated at Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles and discharged Wednesday.

Passenger Tawny Baker, 48, had been discharged from OMC by Saturday.

After the Mustang broke down a half block from the wreck, Timothy Smith allegedly picked up Moyle in a Toyota truck, police said.

An officer recognized the men before they drove away but didn't know they had been involved in the hit-and-run.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-417-3537 or at rob.ollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

Reporter Tom Callis contributed to this report.

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EARLIER REPORT:

By Tom Callis
Peninsula Daily News
PORT ANGELES — The search for a man believed to have mysteriously rammed the car of a family into a power pole and then drove off is a “major priority” for police, Deputy Police Chief Brian Smith said.

The name of Michael J. Moyle, described as a transient living in the Port Angeles area who was still at large Saturday, was entered into a nationwide alert system for law enforcement, Sgt. Barbara McFall said.

A Port Angeles ex-prisoner, Timothy P. Smith, 27, is accused of helping Moyle get away after the Wednesday hit-and-run that hospitalized two adults and two children posted bail and was released from the Clallam County jail after his first court appearance Friday.

Smith was charged Friday with first-degree rendering criminal assistance and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm for the gun found in his truck by detectives.

Smith turned himself in to police Thursday.

Deputy Police Chief Smith, no relation to the other Smith, said all available officers are being used to search for Moyle, 28, who is wanted for investigation of four counts of first-degree assault.

Deputy Chief Smith said police have not confirmed why the driver of a black Ford Mustang, believed to be Moyle, chased a Su­baru sedan from Albertsons supermarket on Lauridsen Boulevard and rammed it at high speed about a half-mile south on South Laurel Street.

“We're not going to jump to any conclusions right now,” the deputy police chief said.

The 11:20 a.m. Wednesday collision sent the car into a telephone pole and injured two adults in the front seat and two children — ages 2 and 5 — riding in the back seat, police said.

The most seriously injured was the 5-year-old boy, Aaron Baker, who was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center for treatment of a head injury and a broken leg.

He was discharged Saturday, McFall said.

Two other hurt in the wreck — driver Stewart Baker, 24, and 2-year-old Lavender Baker — were treated at Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles and discharged Wednesday.

Passenger Tawny Baker, 48, had been discharged from OMC by Saturday.

After ramming the Subaru, the damaged Mustang died a block and a half away from the wreck.

Smith allegedly picked up Moyle in a Toyota truck, police said.

An officer recognized the men before they drove away but didn't know they had been involved in the hit-and-run, McFall said.

Police and court documents said Friday that Timothy Smith arrived at the scene of the wrecked Subaru shortly after the chase but didn't offer assistance.

McFall said Timothy Smith briefly spoke to Stewart Baker, the driver of the sedan, and asked if he was OK.

Stewart Baker told him a black Ford Mustang had caused the wreck, according to court documents.

Timothy Smith walked away from the car without helping the injured passengers or phoning 9-1-1, McFall said.

He then drove Moyle away from the scene, according to police.

The truck was found abandoned that evening on Old Mill Road.

Police impounded both the truck and the Mustang.

A loaded handgun was found in the truck. Timothy Smith, a convicted felon, is barred from possessing a firearm, police said.

Police searched Timothy Smith's auto body shop Friday and discovered a stolen motorcycle, McFall said.

Port Angeles police have recommended that Timothy Smith be charged with investigation of possession of the stolen motorcycle, McFall said.

While executing the search warrant, police arrested a 44-year-old woman for investigation of possession of methamphetamine, McFall said.

The woman was not believed to have been involved in the hit-and-run or the apparent getaway, McFall added.

Police also searched Timothy Smith's home on South Cherry Street on Friday but didn't take away evidence, McFall said.

Moyle's last-known address has been searched, McFall said.

McFall said Timothy Smith didn't give police any information on Moyle's whereabouts.

Moyle is described as 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighing 200 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes.

Police are requesting that anyone with information about Moyle's location or the hit-and-run case in general to phone them at 360-452-4545 or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

Crime Stoppers can pay a reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest with the filing of felony charges. Information can be given anonymously.

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Reporter Tom Callis can be reached at 360-417-3532 or at tom.callis@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: April 17. 2011 10:52PM
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