Port Angeles man arrested after allegedly pointing loaded assault rifle at passing car

PORT ANGELES — A Port Angeles man will make his first court appearance Monday after he was arrested Friday afternoon for allegedly pointing a loaded assault rifle randomly at a passing car.

The car contained two women and two children, police said.

Christopher W. Benoff, 26, is scheduled to appear at 1 p.m. Monday before Clallam County Superior Court Judge Brian Coughenour.

He remained in the Clallam County jail Saturday, held without bond for investigation of felony first-degree assault.

According to the jail roster, Benoff also was arrested for investigation of unlawful possession of a dangerous weapon, a gross misdemeanor.

The dangerous weapon was a spring-activated blade, a kind of switchblade, Port Angeles Police Sgt. Kevin Miller said.

Benoff was unarmed when he was arrested.

Police arrested Benoff after a report at 12:45 p.m. Friday of a man pointing an assault-type rifle at other people on the 1000 block of I Street.

“We had multiple people calling it in that he was outside with a rifle,” Miller said.

Assisted by the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office and the Lower Elwha police, Port Angeles police secured a perimeter around the area, and roads in the area were blocked for a period of time, Miller said.

Benoff allegedly pointed an AR-15-type rifle randomly at the car containing the two women and two children, police said.

“They were just driving down the road in front of his house,” Miller said.

Benoff also allegedly was arguing with a neighbor outside his home while holding a rifle.

Miller said a search of Benoff’s residence turned up “a veritable plethora” of 15 guns, including an assault rifle, two handguns, rifles and “lots of ammunition.”

“During a protective sweep of the area, officers located a rifle and magazines that matched the description given by witnesses,” Miller said in a news release.

The case has been referred to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for a decision on felony charges.

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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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