Alleged: Gun pointed in state park dispute

Kingston woman charged with second-degree assault

PORT ANGELES — A Kingston woman has been charged with allegedly pointing a loaded handgun at a hiker during a dispute over a parking space at Miller Peninsula State Park.

Tiffany L. Santinelli, 51, was charged Wednesday with second-degree assault with a deadly weapon and fourth-degree assault for allegedly chest-bumping a woman and pointing a .38-caliber pistol at the woman’s husband for about 90 seconds.

The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office said Santinelli confronted the couple about parking a vehicle without a trailer in the trailer parking area at the state park near the Clallam-Jefferson county line at about 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

She allegedly bumped into the woman, yelling “can’t you read the signs?” and “you’re messing with the wrong person,” before taking a swing at the man and pointing a firearm at the man’s chest for about a minute and a half, Deputy Hector Eagan said in court papers.

“After pointing her firearm at him, Tiffany holstered her pistol and continued arguing with the victims and their family members before she walked back to her vehicle,” Eagan wrote.

“While Tiffany walked away, she put both of her middle fingers towards the group.”

One of the witnesses captured the alleged assault on video, Eagan said.

In it, Santinelli can be heard saying that she had been choked by the man and that she drew her weapon because she feared for her safety.

The man can be heard in the video saying, “put the gun away, please,” Eagan said.

Deputies found no injuries on Santinelli’s neck, court papers said.

Santinelli had been riding horses in the park with a friend.

“The video shows Tiffany pointing her pistol at (the man),” Eagan said.

“Tiffany is holding the gun with both hands. Her right pointer finger is index along the side of the gun. Tiffany is heard saying something to the effect of being ‘choked out’ and being called a ‘b——.’ ”

Santinelli posted a $5,000 bail after her initial court appearance Tuesday.

Clallam County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Roberson had requested a $25,000 bail for Santinelli.

“We have an escalating situation over something relatively minor, and the state believes a lack of provocation,” Roberson said in court Tuesday.

“It escalates very quickly to a loaded firearm pointed by one person at the other, so we are concerned about community safety.”

Defense Attorney Harry Gasnick of Clallam Public Defender said there was “no basis” for the bail request, citing Santinelli’s lack of any criminal history.

Superior Court Judge Brent Basden set the bail at $5,000.

“The court’s concerns here all relate to (Santinelli) committing a violent offense in the community based upon the nature of the charges and, frankly, the speed with which this escalated,” Basden said.

Santinelli will be arraigned in Clallam County Superior Court on June 4.

She was ordered to have no contact with the alleged victims.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at [email protected].

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