Port Angeles man charged with reckless burning now charged after threatening truck owner with machete

Andrew Helman

PORT ANGELES — A Port Angeles man charged in December with setting fire to his home while two other people were inside is now jailed for allegedly threatening another person with a machete only days after being released from jail.

Andrew Helman, 58, was charged Tuesday with first-degree robbery.

He was booked into the Clallam County jail Monday night for investigation of second-degree assault, attempted theft of a motor vehicle and an outstanding felony warrant related to his other case, in which he is charged with first-degree reckless burning and two counts of reckless endangerment.

He remained in jail Tuesday on $70,000 bail.

When deputies arrived on View Ridge Drive at about 4:37 p.m. Monday, they were told a man later identified as Helman had been ranting while holding an unsheathed buck knife in his hand, according to court records.

Helman was allegedly rummaging through the passenger compartment of another person’s truck and had found the keys. The truck owner yelled at Helman multiple times to get out of his truck.

“Helman became upset with the truck owner and armed himself with a machete that was under the driver’s seat of the truck,” according to a news release from the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies were told the man left the truck holding the machete over his head in a threatening manner as he turned toward the truck owner, according to court records.

That’s when the truck owner armed himself with a shovel, deputies were told. The truck owner said the man rushed toward him with the machete raised above his head and the truck owner struck Helman “near his head/neck,” according to court records.

Helman dropped the machete after being struck and retrieved his buck knife, the truck owner said, according to court records, and with the shovel in hand, the truck owner continued to order Helman off his property and Helman left.

As Helman was leaving, he asked the truck owner to give him a ride to the top of Deer Park Road so he could pan for gold, according to court records of the truck owner’s statements.

At about 5:58 p.m., deputies, alerted to a report of a trespassing in the 5000 block of Deer Park Road, found Helman and arrested him on a felony warrant.

The caller told dispatchers the man had trespassed onto his property and that the caller had armed himself with a rifle — fearing for his safety.

The arrest was only 14 days after Helman was released from jail on other charges.

Court records say he was released on the condition that he comply with all treatment recommendations from Peninsula Behavioral Health and Veterans Affairs and appear in court July 14 and on every second and fourth Friday.

A warrant for his arrest was issued after the July 14 hearing.

Helman told detectives after his arrest in December that he had stopped taking his medication and that he had barricaded himself into his room for five days.

He told deputies that setting fire to his house was the only way to get his roommates, who he believed were going to shoot him, to leave.

According to a Peninsula Behavioral Health mental health assessment, Helman has a history of psychosis, delusions and assault.

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Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].

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