Brandon B. Smith, a transient man, allegedly attacked a woman at a homeless camp in Port Townsend on Tuesday. He is shown on a television monitor at his court appearance. (Jeannie McMacken /Peninsula Daily News)

Brandon B. Smith, a transient man, allegedly attacked a woman at a homeless camp in Port Townsend on Tuesday. He is shown on a television monitor at his court appearance. (Jeannie McMacken /Peninsula Daily News)

Transient charged in Port Townsend homeless camp attack

PORT TOWNSEND — A man with no known local address has been charged with attacking a woman with a machete in a transient camp Tuesday evening, cutting her hand and making threatening statements to her and a companion.

Port Townsend police said they took Brandon B. Smith, 40 into custody without incident.

During his first court appearance Wednesday, Prosecuting Attorney Michael Hass filed charges against Smith for three felony counts: assault in the second degree — deadly weapon, and two counts of harassment — threats to kill.

Judge Keith Harper found probable cause and set his bail at $50,000. He is being held at the Jefferson County Jail, represented by court-appointed criminal defense attorney Ben Critchlow.

Smith’s arraignment will be Friday in Jefferson County Superior Court at 8:30 a.m.

Port Townsend police were dispatched to a wooded area at the 300 block of Rainier St. where a number of transient homeless people are staying in tents.

Once on the scene, officers said they found Smith in possession of a “Kukri,” a Nepalese knife commonly used a weapon.

Transient Cassandra Aldrich said Smith intentionally assaulted her and verbally threatened her and Edwin Wisbey, a companion.

According to the police report, Smith and Wisbey had gotten into an argument prior to the event for an unknown reason.

Smith exited his tent with the knife and told Whisbey and Aldrich that the was going to kill them both.

Police reported Smith advanced on Aldrich, who was protecting herself with a baseball bat.

Smith grabbed the bat from her and began swinging it in her direction. He then struck Aldrich on her finger with the knife causing a substantial laceration.

According to the report, Smith stated that he was going to kill her. Wisbey grabbed a knife of his own to fend off the attack, and Smith retreated into his tent.

Witnesses told police they believed Smith fully intended to act on his threats towards Aldrich and Wisbey.

The two stated that Smith made mention several times of his intention to kill them.

Police retrieved a weapon from Smith’s tent that appeared to have blood on it.

The report also stated that a third party said there had been progressively heated arguments by Smith directed towards Aldrich and Wisbey over the course of several days leading up to the event.


Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at [email protected].

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