Two arrested after high-speed chase

PORT ANGELES — A high speed car chase last week resulted in the arrest of a 20-year-old Joyce woman and a machete-wielding man the next day.

Brandon J. Schwagler, 25, of Port Angeles, was arrested after fleeing from police in separate incidents Thursday and Friday, authorities said.

Larissa J. Garrison, 20, of Joyce, who was driving a car Schwagler was riding in Thursday, was arrested for investigation of eluding a police vehicle after a 90 mph chase on U.S. Highway 101.

Schwagler was spotted in a wooded area at about noon Friday near the Pine Street extension and U.S. Highway 101, Deputy Chief of Police Jason Viada said.

“He was armed with a machete,” Viada said.

“Apparently he threw the machete somewhere in the woods, but he was apprehended after an arduous foot chase, first by Officer J.J. Smith and then other officers.”

Schwagler was booked for investigation of obstructing an officer and resisting arrest, drug possession, fourth-degree assault with domestic violence, third-degree malicious mischief and reckless endangerment with domestic violence, police said.

He is expected to make his initial court appearance Monday.

Garrison, who was driving a Volkswagen Jetta that Schwagler was riding in Thursday, was arrested near the Elwha River Road bridge after a high-speed chase on city streets and the highway, police said.

According to city police, Garrison fled after an attempted welfare check in the Port Angeles library parking lot at about 3:45 p.m. Thursday.

Schwagler was a suspect in a reported domestic violence incident that occurred last Monday, police said.

“It was reported that during the earlier domestic violence incident Schwagler discharged a firearm at a vehicle,” police said in a news release.

“Officers were further advised to consider the subject armed and dangerous.”

Garrison fled in the vehicle with Schwagler riding in the passenger seat, police said.

Police performed a pursuit intervention technique, or PIT, maneuver to spin the car and bring it to a stop on South Cherry Street, pinning the driver’s side door, according to the affidavit for probable cause.

A man later identified as Schwagler fled on foot as Garrison drove away, police said.

Garrison made a series of quick turns on city streets and alleys before colliding with unmarked police vehicle that Viada was driving, according to the affidavit for probable cause.

Viada reported having neck pain but did not seek medical care.

Garrison reached speeds of about 90 mph as she traveled west on U.S. Highway 101, Officer Jeffrey Thaxton wrote in the arrest narrative.

“Sgt. (Kori) Malone said the suspect veered into oncoming traffic almost causing a collision with passing cars,” Thaxton wrote.

The pursuit was called off for safety reasons about 4:05 p.m.

Witnesses reported seeing Garrison’s car near the Elwha River Road bridge a short time later.

An agent with the U.S. Office of Air and Marine, a division of the U.S. Border Patrol, spotted Garrison hiding the area at about 4:12 p.m., police said.

Garrison was released from the Clallam County jail on her personal recognizance Friday.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney April King had requested a $15,000 bail for Garrison.

“The facts of the case, in the state’s view, raise an obvious issue regarding flight risk and also public safety,” King said.

“This started out with law enforcement just trying to contact her for a welfare check for her own benefit, arguably, to check on her safety and her well being.”

Superior Court Judge Brian Coughenour released Garrison without bail.

“I don’t see any warrant history,” Coughenour said.

“I don’t see any previous criminal conduct. The circumstances are concerning, but I believe that you will appear in court as directed.

The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office will consider filing a formal charge at Garrison’s next court appearance Tuesday.

Police were tipped that a man in a red jacket was trespassing in a yard on Hancock Avenue at about 11 a.m. Friday.

An officer saw a man carrying a machete near Valley Creek who was later identified as Schwagler, police said.


Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].

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