Five-hour standoff ends with peaceful surrender in Port Angeles

PORT ANGELES — A Port Angeles man who barricaded himself inside his west Port Angeles home was in a five-hour standoff Sunday with police before he was arrested without incident, police said.

John Thomas Zachary Cox, 41, surrendered and was booked into the Clallam County jail for investigation of third-degree malicious mischief-domestic violence and obstructing law enforcement — which are misdemeanors — at about 7 p.m. Sunday.

The case was referred to Clallam County District Court, where Cox appeared Monday, Deputy Police Chief Jason Viada said.

Cox was not on the jail roster as of 5 p.m. Monday, and Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Chris Cowgill was unavailable for comment late Monday.

The standoff began after police responded to a 1:40 p.m. Sunday report of an ongoing domestic disturbance on property in the 1700 block of West 14th Street, Viada said.

“It was a call involving property damage and the very concerning possible suicidal behavior,” Viada said.

On the property was a main residence and a travel trailer.

When officers arrived, they found a woman in the main residence, where several items had been broken.

She had not been injured.

Cox, barricaded in the travel trailer, had armed himself with an axe, a crow bar and kitchen knives, Viada said.

He took the items into the trailer with him before officers arrived, Viada said.

Sgt. Kori Malone, who leads the Crisis Negotiation Team, joined Officer Luke Brown and Cpl. David Dombroski in trying to talk down Cox over the next five hours while standing outside the trailer, Viada said.

“These officers are very determined, they are tough, and they are extremely compassionate people, and that comes through when anyone talks to them,” Viada said.

“They are compassionate enough to stand in the rain and talk to someone who is probably having the worst day in their life, and the end result is a peaceful surrender.”

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at pgottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.

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