Port Angeles man arrested after standoff

PORT ANGELES — A Port Angeles man was arrested after a two-hour standoff with law enforcement in his parked vehicle last week, police said.

Tyler Adam Thomas was handcuffed Thursday after police broke the rear window of the vehicle and deployed pepper spray, causing the 35-year-old to open his door, Sgt. Kori Malone said.

“Officers immediately began decontamination procedures for Mr. Thomas,” police said in a news release.

After being evaluated by medics and cleared by Olympic Medical Center staff, Thomas was booked into the Clallam County jail for investigation of obstructing a law enforcement officer and an active warrant.

Thomas also was under investigation for criminal impersonation, forgery and making false statements to a law enforcement officer from a previous incident at the Peabody Street Coin Laundry, police said.

Officers responded to a disturbance at 5:50 p.m. Thursday in the 1000 block of East Third Street, just east of Civic Field.

A man matching Thomas’s description had reportedly threatened to kick in the door of a residence and “hurt people,” police said.

“Responding officers located Mr. Thomas in the area and he immediately locked himself inside his vehicle,” Malone said.

A witness expressed concern for Thomas’s safety, saying he may have had a knife, police said.

Officers attempted to negotiate with Thomas by speaking through a patrol car public address system and by calling his cell phone, police said.

“Mr. Thomas would not respond to any of the attempts to speak to him and would not comply with officers’ commands to exit his vehicle because he was under arrest,” Malone said.

The 1000 block of East Third Street was closed for about 2 1/2 hours during and after the standoff, police said.

Thomas was charged last October with second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. A $2,500 arrest warrant was issued Dec. 22.

Superior Court Judge Brian Coughenour signed an order Friday finding probable cause that Thomas may have committed criminal impersonation, forgery and making false statements to a law enforcement officer for an alleged incident at the Peabody Street Coin Laundry on Jan. 11.

A woman at the laundromat said that Thomas was “getting in people’s faces and talking about rape and murder and was refusing to leave,” Officer Bruce Fernie wrote in the affidavit for probable cause.

Fernie issued Thomas a trespassing warning. Thomas had identified himself and signed the warning letter as Lane Thomas, Fernie said.

The officer later discovered that Thomas had two arrest warrants.

“It’s very clear that Mr. Thomas is a very high risk to not appear,” Clallam County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jesse Espinoza said while requesting a $5,000 bail for Thomas.

Thomas told Coughenour that he was never informed about the warrant for his arrest or told when to appear in court.

Coughenour released Thomas on his personal recognizance for the new case but set a $5,000 bail for Thomas’s failure to appear on the older case.

The prosecuting attorney’s office will consider file charges in Thomas’s new case Friday.


Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.