PORT ANGELES — A 58-year-old Sequim man arrested after allegedly threatening a school bus driver for the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe while using a racial slur was released Thursday on his own recognizance.
Roger Dale Garman, 58, has been charged with felony malicious harassment-threatening a specific person, punishable by up to five years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
Clallam County Superior Court Judge Brian Coughenour turned down Deputy Prosecuting Attorney April King’s request that Garman be held on $5,000 bail and set Garman’s arraignment for 1:30 p.m. Dec. 29.
A determination of probable cause alleged that Garman stopped the school bus on the road in front of his house by standing in the middle of North Boyce Road at about 3:45 p.m. Wednesday and yelling at the female driver.
Chief Criminal Deputy Brian King of the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday that the school bus was empty and that the driver rolled down the window of the bus to talk to Garman.
“You [expletive] Indians, speeding up and down my roads,” Garman said, according to the probable cause statement.
“The next time I see you doing it, I’m going to shoot you.”
The driver said she was “scared down to [her] bones.”
She “quickly drove away,” driving a route she would not normally drive “because she was afraid he might actually have a gun on his person,” according to the probable cause statement.
About 15 minutes later, Garman called a tribal office and spoke to an executive assistant to tribal CEO Ron Allen.
Garman told the woman he “was tired of bus drivers speeding down his road” and that “he would take care of it next time by shooting her [the school bus driver] and breaking her neck,” according to the probable cause statement.
“This does not appear to be any sort of reasonably provoked offense,” King said in arguing for the bail amount.
“It was basically committed against a member of the public out doing her job.”
Harry Gasnick of Clallam Public Defender, representing Garman, said his client has been living in Clallam County for more than 20 years and does not have a recent criminal history.
What criminal history Garman does have indicates that he abides by what judges tell him to do, Gasnick said.
He said Garman’s income is from Social Security due to a disability.
The alleged threat arose out of the operation of the school bus, not the ethnicity of the driver, Gasnick said.
Coughenour said that it appears Garman has appeared in court as directed.
Can file complaint
He said Garman can file a complaint about traffic but must not stop or interfere with traffic in front of his house.
The judge said that Garman cannot possess firearms.
“It appears the primary concern is the allegation of a threat against a school bus driving on the road, I assume in front of your premises,” Coughenour said.
“I’m doing this because there was an allegation that there was a threat to shoot, but that any pistol that you have has been seized.”
Garman told Coughenour he bought the house nine months ago.