PORT ANGELES — Campers enjoying their Friday morning stay at a U.S. Forest Service campground were forced to leave their campsites during a three-hour standoff between law enforcement authorities and a Forks man that ended without incident.
Tommy Lee Cook III, 28, also known as Tommy Lee Cook Jr., was in the Clallam County jail Saturday on $450,000 bail after the standoff with authorities, including a narcotics enforcement tactical team, at Klahowya Campground about 35 miles west of Port Angeles, the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office said.
Cook had two felony bench warrants against him totalling $450,000 when law enforcement officers received information he was staying at the campground, authorities said.
Campers who were staying in campsites near Cook’s recreational vehicle were evacuated during the standoff, which began at 10:15 a.m. Friday and ended at about 1 p.m. with Cook walking out of the RV, Clallam County Chief Criminal Deputy Brian King said Friday.
The warrants were issued on a Dec. 6, 2017 heroin possession and delivery charges, which included a firearms enhancement, and July 3 heroin delivery and firearms charges, on which he had recently made bail.
“The warrants involved alleged illegal drug activity within the area of Clallam County and the city of Forks,” Clallam County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ed Anderson said in a prepared statement.
When law enforcement personnel arrived, they saw Cook moving around inside the trailer.
“They attempted to engage him in conversation and he did not respond,” King said Friday while Cook was being driven back to jail.
More than a dozen law enforcement personnel arrived at the campground, King said.
They included an Olympic Peninsula Narcotics Enforcement Team tactical squad, the State Patrol, specialty teams from sheriff’s departments in Clallam and Jefferson counties, and the Port Angeles, Forks and La Push police departments, King and Anderson said.
Crisis negotiators spoke to Anderson through loudspeakers installed in the vehicles, King and Anderson said.
“In the 2017 arrest and the recent arrest, he was found to be in possession of firearms, so we were concerned, and fortunately the deputies from start to finish and actually the state troopers as well just continued and continued and continued and held him via the [public address] system,” King said.
“It was just a matter of being persistent by the show of force and amount of responders coming to the scene to let him know we were not going anywhere, that we were going to wait him out.
“Fortunately, it was a peaceful conclusion.”
Anderson said Saturday that he did not expect additional charges would be recommended against Cook as a result of the standoff.
It was unclear Saturday why the warrants were issued.
Anderson said it was likely they were for failure-to-appear violations.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].