PORT ANGELES — Bail was set at $2,500 Wednesday in Clallam County Superior Court for a Clallam Bay man accused of hurling eggs and yelling racial and homophobic slurs at a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters gathered in front of the Clallam County Courthouse last Saturday.
Jeffrey Dunn, 24, is expected to be charged with one count of felony malicious harassment — a hate crime — and three counts of fourth-degree assault, each a gross misdemeanor, at his next court appearance set for 1 p.m. Friday before Clallam County Superior Court Judge Lauren Erickson.
Dunn admitted he saw the protesters and threw the recently purchased eggs in three separate passes in his pickup truck as well as slow down to yell racial slurs during one drive-by, according to a police interview contained in the probable cause statement.
Dunn admitted to yelling racial slurs and seeing people of color, including African Americans, at the protest, but he denied targeting any particular group or person, the statement said.
Homophobic slurs also were directed at the protesting group, including an egging victim who attended the protest in support of June’s status as LGBTQ Pride Month and held a sign advocating for Duanna Johnson, a black transgender woman who was beaten to death months after being the victim of police brutality in Memphis, Tenn., according to victim interviews contained in the probable cause statement.
Port Angeles City Council member Navarra Carr was hit by an egg during Saturday’s incident and interviewed by police.
“Honestly, I didn’t really comprehend what happened in the moment until I was hit and people nearby asked if I was OK,” Carr said in a statement contained in the case’s probable cause document.
“He then drove off and came back two or three more times … At the time it was very shocking — I can’t imagine how much hate this person must feel to throw groceries at peaceful people.”
Following the incident, Dunn is alleged to have changed his Facebook profile photo to a picture of him throwing eggs taken at the protest and added the nickname “That Egger Guy” to his account.
Clallam County Deputy Prosecutor Matthew Roberson argued for Dunn’s bail to be set at $5,000, along with no out-of-state travel, no contact with victims in the case, and drug and firearm restrictions.
Chief Public Defender Harry Gasnick, who represented Dunn at the court appearance Wednesday, asked for him to be released on his own recognizance, citing his lack of criminal record, Dunn’s status as a long-term county resident and Dunn contacting law enforcement to turn himself in.
“If throwing three eggs is described as an act of extreme violence, what degree of hyperbole will we encounter in incidents when actual weapons are involved?” Gasnick asked.
“I understand the concerns given the political climate, but these requests are flat-out unreasonable.”
Superior Court Judge Simon Barnhart expressed concerns about a potential for violence in setting bail.
“The court has significant concerns given the suspect made three passes throwing eggs and yelling epithets at a group of protesters when there was no clear trigger here to prompt that kind of behavior,” Barnhart said.
“And just because there was no clear physical injuries does not mean that people weren’t injured by these events. There’s a propensity for violent behavior, so I will set bail at $2,500 with the added condition that Dunn not come within 100 yards of any person engaging in a protest.”
Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-406-0674 or [email protected].