Charges dismissed against Clallam Bay man

PORT ANGELES — Charges have been dismissed against John H. Bichler, a Clallam Bay man accused of pointing a gun at another man during an argument in March.

Bichler, 40, was exonerated Friday of single counts of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon, harassment, making false or misleading statements to a public servant and disorderly conduct, Clallam County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jesse Espinoza said.

The case was dismissed without prejudice, meaning the charges may be re-filed.

The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office alleged that Bichler followed a group of people he suspected of illegal dumping March 19 and pointed a semi-automatic pistol at a man outside of Hess Mart in Clallam Bay.

Deputy James Gribbon said Bichler made false statements in a subsequent interview, according to the affidavit for probable cause.

The harassment charge was added May 29 after Gribbon claimed that Bichler pointed his right hand at him in the shape of a gun and said ‘You stay safe’ after an evidentiary hearing, court papers said.

Bichler pleaded not guilty to the charges and has maintained his innocence. His trial was previously set to begin Wednesday.

“I received new information on Bichler’s case which includes a statement by his wife who was present in the vehicle during the incident and a dispatch log reporting another incident between the various parties from 2014,” Espinoza said in a Friday email. “This greatly changes the dynamics of the case and what is provable or not beyond a reasonable doubt. I am moving to dismiss case without prejudice.

“The charge of disorderly conduct was refiled in District Court II and may proceed to trial there,” Espinoza added.

“There may be new charges forthcoming for Bichler in Superior Court.”