FORKS — A Forks man who allegedly set fire to a West End shop and fled into the Sol Duc River on Thursday is wanted for investigation of second-degree arson and other crimes, the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office said.
Michael Brandon Gross, 31, allegedly fled from law enforcement after setting fire to the shop at a residence on Hammer Way north of Forks, Clallam County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ed Anderson said.
The fire had burned up a wall in the shop and was extinguished before deputies arrived.
Deputies were called to the residence at 9:20 a.m. Thursday to investigate an alleged violation of a domestic violence no contact order.
“Shortly after arrival, deputies and members of the La Push Police Department and Forks Police Department searched the residence and shop but were unable to locate the suspect,” Anderson said in a press release.
“While officers were searching the area the suspect was seen swimming the Sol Duc River.”
The man, who authorities identified as Gross, was later pursued by a Port Angeles Police K-9 team.
“Members of the U.S. Border Patrol, La Push Police, Forks Police, Quileute Wildlife officers and Washington Fish and Wildlife assisted with the search for Michael Gross but were unable to locate him,” Anderson said.
Deputies have probable cause to arrest Gross for investigation of second-degree arson with domestic violence, felony violation of a court order, third-degree malicious mischief with domestic violence and resisting arrest, Anderson said.
Anyone who sees Gross is asked to phone 9-1-1.