Charges filed after man allegedly takes sunglasses, pushes employee, flees police

PORT ANGELES — A man who allegedly took sunglasses from a Port Angeles gas station, shoved an employee and ran from police Sunday was arrested after diving over a hillside into thick brush, police said.

Christopher L. Ogles, 21, pleaded not guilty Monday to single counts of third-degree theft, obstructing a law enforcement officer and fourth-degree assault, Clallam County District Court Clerk Cyndie Fudally said.

Ogles is being held in the Clallam County jail on $1,500 bail. His next District Court appearance was scheduled for Aug. 11, Fudally said.

Should he post bail, Ogles is ordered to have no contact with the Chevron store on Marine Drive.

Port Angeles police were called to a reported robbery at the Chevron at 402 Marine Drive at about 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

A man later identified as Ogles had taken two pairs of sunglasses and was confronted by an employee while leaving the gas station, Port Angeles Police Sgt. Tom Kuch said Tuesday.

Ogles pushed the woman as he left the store, Kuch said.

“The employee responded by grabbing ahold of the suspect and the suspect ran, dragging the employee behind, which caused some minor injuries to the elbow but a significant injury to the employee’s shoulder,” Deputy Chief of Police Jason Viada said in a Monday interview.

Kuch on Tuesday said the woman had complained of shoulder pain but had not seen a doctor.

Officer Ronald Cameron, who was the first to arrive, observed Ogles running east in the alley between CrossFit ThunderRidge and the Country Aire Natural Foods parking lot.

“By now the suspect had removed his coat and was wearing just boots and athletic shorts,” Viada said.

“He went south up the really steep trail through heavy brush and sticker bushes.”

Cameron chased Ogles on foot as Officer Kelly Perry arrived at the top of the hill near Second and Oak streets.

“Officer Cameron was giving the suspect verbal commands,” Viada said.

“(Ogles) started to comply, but then he literally dove down the steep hillside into the heavy bushes and sticks and stickers where there was absolutely no trail, so it took the officers a while to find him.”

A containment was established around the hillside, Kuch said.

Officers found a scratched up and unconscious Ogles in thick brush on the upper flanks of the hill. Ogles had a high pulse and was breathing erratically, police said.

“He had been running so hard and so long, and we made the presumption he was high on drugs,” Kuch said.

Medics used a sternum rub to revive Ogles, Kuch said.

“The officers were actually concerned about his medical status at that point,” Viada said.

“So they got the fire department there and took him to the hospital to be cleared for booking and booked him into the jail.”

“Obviously we’ll be seeking charges for second-degree robbery from the prosecutor as they review this case,” Viada added.

The Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office declined to charge Ogles with a robbery count.

Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Michele Devlin said charging decisions are based on whether a case can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

“Law enforcement may make an arrest on probable cause. However, prosecutors must charge only upon a decision that the case may be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” Devlin said in a Tuesday email.

“Information is always forthcoming and decisions may change, but at the time the decision was made yesterday, we made the decision that it was more appropriate for District Court charges.”

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

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