Bail set for man accused of assault, ramming police car

PORT ANGELES — Bail has been set at $20,000 for a Port Angeles man accused of punching another man at a First Street gas station and ramming an unmarked police car.

Steven Richard Parker, 31, remained in the Clallam County jail on Saturday for investigation of second- and third-degree assault, hit-and-run of an attended vehicle and driving under the influence of alcohol for the Thursday incident at the Port Angeles Chevron.

The Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney’s office will consider filing formal charges against Parker at his next court appearance at 1 p.m. Monday.

City police alleged that Parker, 31, exited his vehicle and threw a punch at a man.

The alleged victim told Officer JJ Smith that the punch “barely grazed his chin,” court papers said.

A witness who observed the alleged attack ran across the street and pulled Parker off the man, Smith said in the arrest narrative.

Parker returned to his vehicle and backed into Deputy Chief of Police Jason Viada’s unmarked patrol car before attempting to flee, Smith said.

Police Sgt. Josh Powless arrived and positioned his car to protect the alleged victim, Smith said.

Powless believed that Parker would intentionally drive forward and strike the alleged victim to escape arrest, Smith said in the affidavit for probable cause.

Court papers offered no motive for the alleged assault.

Smith said she found an open bottle of Jameson whiskey in the center console of Parker’s vehicle when she arrested him shortly after 3 p.m. Thursday.

Another officer detected a strong odor of intoxicants on Parker’s breath. He was “unsteady and swaying” and had glazed, watery eyes, according to Smith’s account.

“After being taken into custody, he then resisted a blood draw by allegedly hocking bloody mucus towards an officer,” Clallam County Deputy Prosecuting attorney Matthew Roberson said at Parker’s initial court appearance Friday.

Roberson requested a $20,000 bail for Parker on Friday as well as a requirement that he wear an alcohol monitoring device if released.

“The state has safety concerns,” Roberson said.

“There’s always a safety concern when somebody turns a passenger car into a missile and attempts to turn it on Port Angeles residents and officers.”

Defense attorney Harry Gasnick of Clallam Public Defender argued for his client to be released with an alcohol monitoring device.

“The gentleman has nominal criminal history and a good appearance history,” Gasnick said.

“It would appear that if there’s merit to the allegations that the behaviors attributed to the gentleman would be entirely alcohol driven.”

Judge Brent Basden of the Clallam County Superior Court granted Roberson’s request for a $20,000 bail.

Should he post bail, Parker would be required to wear an alcohol monitoring device and have no contact with the alleged victim or the Chevron at 601 E. First. St.

“I do have concern about the danger that he presents to the community,” Basden said.

“There is substantial reason to believe that alcohol was a significant contributing factor to this, so I will follow those recommendations regarding no consumption of alcohol.”


Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@peninsula