PORT ANGELES — A Port Angeles woman who police said had two of her children in her van as she attempted to run down two women who had questioned her parenting skills appeared in Clallam County Superior Court on Tuesday.
Angela Marie McHenry, 33, was ordered held in the Clallam County jail on $100,000 bail and was charged with two counts of first-degree assault and one count of reckless driving. Arraignment is set for 9 a.m. Friday.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Steve Johnson requested Superior Court Judge Lauren Erickson set bail at $500,000, citing concern for the community.
McHenry told police she was having lunch at the Salvation Army in Port Angeles on Thursday when another women overheard her conversation, misunderstood what she said and began accusing McHenry of “something,” court records say.
After the lunch, “according to the probable cause statement, Ms. McHenry drove onto the sidewalk in a van with her children inside and tried to run down two women,” Johnson said.
“This is an extremely excessive response and an incredibly dangerous response to a comment one or two people made.
“Her conduct could have ended up in the death of one or both of these women.”
Clallam Public Defender Harry Gasnick told the court that McHenry is a lifelong resident of Western Washington who recently moved to Clallam County.
He described her as a single-mother and domestic violence victim living off food stamps and child support for her four children. He told Erickson the court needed to consider her resources when setting bail.
“If this lady had $500,000 laying around that would be one thing, but as best as I can tell this lady doesn’t have half a dollar laying around,” Gasnick said.
“We’re asking that bail be set, but that bail be set at an amount that takes into account the extremely-limited resources that are available to her.”
Erickson cited strong concerns about the potential danger to the community if McHenry is released from jail, but said she had no reason to believe she wouldn’t show up to court. She also expressed concerns about McHenry’s mental condition.
Court records said McHenry said she is not sure why she did this and that she believed she saw her ex.
“I’m going to set bail at $100,000,” Erickson said. “I understand that doesn’t make much difference, but until we know more, particularly about her mental condition, I think that is appropriate.”
The incident, which was captured on video by multiple cameras, happened Thursday at about 12:30 p.m., but when police responded they were unable to locate the two pedestrians who were nearly run over or the driver of the Honda Odyssey, said Deputy Chief Jason Viada.
The video, captured by The Warehouse on the 500 block of East Second Street, shows the van driving past the two pedestrians, making a U-turn in an intersection — cutting off an oncoming vehicle — and then driving down the sidewalk at about 12:30 p.m. Thursday.
The two pedestrians run out of the way as the vehicle swerves toward them.
Police learned from witnesses the incident started at the Salvation Army, where the driver and the two pedestrians got into an argument, Viada said.
Two officers went to McHenry’s Port Angeles home Monday and found the van “that was clearly the van in the video,” Viada said. Court records said that when officers arrived, McHenry asked, without prompting “are you going to arrest me now?”
McHenry told police she believed she had seen her ex on the sidewalk, and said she did not know what she was thinking. She said that when she realized the people on the sidewalk were not her ex, she turned her vehicle back onto the roadway.
Video captured by the doorbell of a nearby home shows one of the victims shouting “I’m calling the cops.”
The driver in the vehicle then shouts what sounds like “you wanna play that?”
When police interviewed the victims, one of the women told police she did not like the way McHenry was treating her children.
“[McHenry] said she wanted to do the right thing and turn herself in,” the police report said. “She told her kids multiple times that she had ‘made a mistake’ and that the right thing to do was tell the truth.”
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].