Rialto Beach reopened after search

LA PUSH — A multi-agency law enforcement response Thursday afternoon to an aggressive man on Rialto Beach ended later the same day without the man being found, a park spokeswoman said.

The Rialto Beach area was closed to access beyond the Mora Ranger Station during the search, spokeswoman Penny Wagner said in an email.

Multiple agencies including the Coast Guard with a helicopter and the Port Angeles Police Department with a K9 unit were involved in the search as of 3:45 p.m. Thursday, she said Friday.

“Park dispatch received a report from a visitor that the adult male was aggressive and threatening,” Wagner said in another email.

“No injuries were reported.”

The beach was opened at about 5:30 p.m. Thursday “after the search was concluded with no findings,” Wagner said.

Forks Police Chief Mike Rowley, whose department also was involved in the search, said a man on the beach became angry after a park ranger told him to put out his fire.

Beach fires are not allowed during the burn ban in effect from July 1 to Oct. 1.

“He had a fire going and the ranger contacted him due to the burn ban, and the guy became irate,” Rowley said.

“He threw his cooler at him.”

Wagner did not respond when asked to confirm Rowley’s account of the incident.

Other law enforcement personnel involved in the search were from Olympic National Park, the State Patrol, the La Push Police Department, and the Quileute Tribe natural resources office.

The Coast Guard helicopter had infrared apparatus to aid with tracking the suspect, Wagner said.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected] peninsuladailynews.com.

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