PORT ANGELES — A Port Angeles man was charged Thursday after he allegedly advanced on two police officers with a raised tomahawk and hunting knife early that morning.
No one was hurt in the alleged attack in the 1200 block of West U.S. Highway 101 at about 1:20 a.m. Thursday, according to Deputy Chief Jason Viada of the Port Angeles Police Department (PAPD), although the alleged assailant, Anthony W. Johnson, came within seconds of being shot.
Johnson, 44, was charged with two counts each of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon and third-degree assault with a deadly weapon by the Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Viada said in a press release.
Johnson remained in the Clallam County jail with no bail set on Thursday.
At about 1:20 a.m. Thursday, Officers Luke Brown and Kyle Buchanan were talking through a screen door with a woman inside a trailer as they investigated a report of a domestic disturbance when a man emerged from the area near the parked police cars with a tomahawk in one hand and a large fixed-blade hunting knife in the other hand, according to Viada.
“The man approached the officers in an aggressive fighting stance with both edged weapons raised,” Viada said.
One of the officers ordered him to stop. “No,” he reportedly said, and continued his advance.
The officers drew their sidearms and prepared to use them but gave Johnson, who was at this point less than 15 feet from the officers, one last command to stop.
“In that split second, the man stopped advancing, but refused to drop his weapons,” Viada said.
“The officers did not fire their sidearms,” he said.
During a tense standoff, the man dropped the tomahawk, Viada said, adding that instead of dropping the knife, he slid it into a sheath in a chest rig he was wearing.
One officer used a stun gun, but one of the darts bounced off the knife sheath on the chest rig, Viada said.
The man turned to flee. He was halted by an effective hit from the second officer’s stun gun, the deputy chief added, but when an officer moved to take his knife, the man sat up and reached for it.
“That attack was stopped with a swift kick to the chest by one of the officers,” Viada said.
An Elwha police officer arrived and assisted with placing the still struggling and resisting man into handcuffs, Viada said.
The use of force by the officers “was well within the law and department policy,” said Viada, who reviews all use of force by PAPD officers.
Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3530 or at [email protected].