By Jeremy Schwartz and Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News
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SEQUIM — Bail has been set at $150,000 for a Sequim man arrested after he allegedly assaulted two deputies and an unidentified woman and crashed a minivan into a building before a stun gun brought him under control.
Sheriff’s deputies said Daniel G. Gockerell, 54, punched Deputy Brandon Stoppani in the head while law enforcement officers tried to subdue him at his Belfield Avenue home in Sequim on Tuesday morning.
After his arrest, Gockerell tried to take Deputy Matt Murphy’s pistol, said Sgt. Lyman Moores of the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office.
This resulted in a cut on the deputy’s hand that required three stitches at Olympic Medical Center.
In addition, Gockerell reportedly punched a woman, whom Moores declined to identify, in the head at the Belfield Avenue home, and she was taken to OMC for treatment of her injuries.
He also crashed into Thomas Building Center at 301 W. Washington St., Moores said, causing damage estimated by general manager Tony Steinman at between $10,000 and $12,000.
Subdued with a stun gun, Gockerell was booked in the Clallam County jail for investigation of a host of crimes:
■ Two counts of third-degree assault.
■ One count each of disarming a law-enforcement officer, hit and run - damaged attended property, harassment and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.
■ Two counts of fourth-degree assault and one count of third-degree of malicious mischief, all domestic-violence related.
During Gockerell’s first appearance in Clallam County Superior Court on Wednesday, Judge Christopher Melly set Gockerell’s bail at $150,000 after Deputy Prosecuting Attorney John Troberg requested bail of $250,000.
“This is kind of a situation where people, frankly, could end up dead very easily,” Troberg said.
Gockerell, who remained in jail Wednesday, appeared confused in court and made several outbursts.
Should Gockerell post bail, he will be required to have a psychological evaluation prior to his release, the judge said.
“I’ve got concerns about the number of charges that are being contemplated by the state, and the severity of those charges,” said Melly, who was sworn in as a judge Tuesday.
“After reading the reports and seeing your behavior in court, I’ve got concerns about your stability,” Melly told Gockerell.
Moores gave this account of the events leading to Gockerell’s arrest:
Deputies were called to Thomas Building Center at about 6:40 a.m. after a silver minivan crashed through the center’s showroom.
Steinman said the crash destroyed the front double doors and damaged some cabinetry inside.
Steinman said the business wasn’t open but that an employee saw the crash.
“[The van jumped] the curb and went right through the front door of the [showroom] building,” Steinman said.
“And he put it in drive and away he went.”
Minutes later, deputies and officers were dispatched to Gockerell’s home,about a mile from the building center, after the minivan he was driving tore through the home’s yard and into a fence.
Gockerell broke a window on the home before running inside and threatening police, telling them he had a gun.
After deputies heard crashing and yelling inside the home, Gockerell ran out the back door to a 12-foot-by-12-foot shed about 20 feet from the back door.
Stoppani ran after Gockerell, tried to grab his coat and Gockerell punched him in the head.
“[That] gave [Stoppani] a minor laceration to the ear,” Moores said, adding that the injury did not require a visit to the hospital.
Gockerell was arrested inside the shed by deputies and Sequim police.
Deputies found five firearms, including a rifle and a shotgun, inside the shed. They are thought to belong to Gockerell.
He tried to take Murphy’s gun while in a holding cell at the Sequim Police Department, where he was being checked for injuries.
Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at email@example.com.