Man in standoff to be referred for mental evaluation

PORT ANGELES — The man involved in a seven-hour standoff last week will be referred to Western State Hospital for an evaluation to determine if he is competent to stand trial and assist in his own defense after appearing briefly in Clallam County District Court on Tuesday.

Tyson C. Welt, 37, of Port Angeles is being held in the Clallam County jail for investigation of fourth-degree assault-domestic violence-family or household member and obstructing a law enforcement officer.

Both are gross misdemeanors, punishable by a maximum of 364 days in jail, a $5,000 fine or both, plus restitution, assessments and court costs.

After Welt’s arrest, a motion for determination of probable cause and a preliminary appearance order for Welt were filed May 17 in Clallam County District Court.

The Port Angeles Police Department arrest report gave the following account of events on May 16:

Officer Kenneth McKnight was dispatched at 1 p.m. May 16 to a reported assault at a residence in the 2300 block of South Vine Street.

The caller had told the dispatcher her son, Tyson Welt, had hit her three times with a metal rod. She then left the house.

“I was familiar with the residence from previous calls. Tyson has an extensive history of mental health issues that include PTSD from his time in the military. Tyson has an officer safety caution because in the past he has become aggressive and confrontational with officers,” McKnight wrote in the report.

McKnight also wrote that on May 15 he had contacted Welt’s mother because Welt had cut the cord on his mother’s television and shoved the cord down his throat. He also was microwaving soda cans.

When officers contacted him that day, he had no indications of self-harm and spoke with an officer from his bedroom window.

The police report said Welt has significant mental health issues but is not currently receiving services for them. Welt’s mother said her son had taken her car keys Tuesday evening and would not give them back, keeping them overnight and setting off the car alarm throughout the night.

Ten minutes before she called the police, Welt’s mother went to Welt’s bedroom door and demanded her keys back.

Then Welt hit her three times, but not hard, with a metal rod on her left arm. Welt also shoved a trash can on her chest and back.

Welt’s mother told the officer that Welt had a shotgun in his bedroom but no ammunition.

Welt refused to speak with officers.

Officers obtained an arrest warrant for Welt, set up a perimeter and called for additional resources and personnel.

After negotiations failed, Welt was warned at 4:18 p.m. about impending use of chemical munitions. Chemicals were fired into the residence until the tactical team entered the house at 6:33 p.m.

Welt had barricaded himself upstairs but surrendered after being warned that the K-9 unit was going to be deployed.

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Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at brian.gawley@sound publishing.com.

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