Port Townsend man accused of beating Sequim woman

William Tomasi Leoso held on $500,000 bail

PORT ANGELES — A Port Townsend man who is a suspect in two assaults — one allegedly involving brass knuckles and the other a handgun — will be charged at 1 p.m. today in Clallam County Superior Court.

William Tomasi Leoso, 46, has been incarcerated on $500,000 bail in the Clallam County jail.

He allegedly beat a Carlsborg-area woman with brass knuckles shortly after noon last Wednesday, according to a probable cause statement.

Leoso also allegedly pointed a handgun at two men who tried to stop him from assaulting the woman.

Leoso was being held for investigation of first- and second-degree assault and first-degree illegal possession of a firearm related to the incident, according to the jail roster.

Deputy Criminal Prosecuting Attorney Steve Johnson said he will decide today on charges against Leoso.

The woman has refused to cooperate in the investigation, authorities said Friday.

Leoso also has been implicated in the late Wednesday morning shooting of a Sequim man, which allegedly occurred about an hour earlier.

Chief Criminal Deputy Brian King said that allegation was referred to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for possible charges.

It grew from an anonymous report that a man had been shot in the foot Wednesday morning and was being held against his will at a house in the 300 block of Secor Road in Sequim, Detective Sgt. Eric Munger said Friday in a press release.

Questioned by deputies, the property owner denied the man was at the residence, Munger said.

About an hour later, deputies learned the man was being treated at Olympic Medical Center for a gunshot injury to his foot.

Munger said the man refused to cooperate with the investigation.

Authorities said Leoso is an acquaintance of both victims.

“It’s clear to us that the victims are scared of [Leoso],” King said.

Leoso also is known as Oos, according to the probable cause statement.

A witness said Leoso hit the woman 15 times in the head, leaving her face bloody, according to the probable cause statement.

The woman, whose age was not provided in the statement, did not seek medical attention, King said Friday.

Judge Brent Basden imposed the $500,000 bail without Leoso being present for his live-video first-appearance, a court procedure that takes place from a jail holding room.

Leoso refused to get out of his jail-cell bed, county Corrections Officer Alicia Newhouse told Basden at the outset of the hearing.

“I could not get him to wake up,” Newhouse said.

“He just said no and rolled away from me a few times.”

The assault and gun-pointing incident occurred in the 80 block of Ruths Place in Sequim, according to a probable cause statement authored by sheriff’s Deputy Ben Tomco.

Two men told deputies they saw Leoso beating her with brass knuckles outside the Ruths Place address, according to the statement.

When the men approached Leoso, one told him to leave and the other yelled at him, they said.

At one point, the woman took a machete-type knife from her car, according to the statement.

One of the men said Leoso pointed the gun at him, the other man, and at the woman’s head, describing the weapon as a small 9 mm or .380-caliber black handgun with a silver tip.

“You are [expletive deleted] with the wrong people,” Leoso said to the woman, according to one of the men.

“I will shoot you in the head.”

The other man said Leoso left in a white van that Leoso was driving when he parked at the address.

Munger described the vehicle as an unmarked white box truck. It was located later Wednesday afternoon at the address of its owner, who said he had loaned it to Leoso.

The owner of a company near where the woman was assaulted said he recorded some of the incident on a surveillance camera.

Leoso was arrested in Port Hadlock on Thursday night by Jefferson County Undersheriff Andy Pernsteiner and other deputies before he was transported to Clallam County.

“Leoso was unconscious for the majority of the ride to the Clallam County jail,” Tomco said.

The woman, contacted over the phone by sheriff’s Sgt. Brian Knutson, “stated she had a head wound that she had sustained today but she declined to make any further statement about the case,” Tomco said.

The woman also left the scene of the assault before deputies arrived.

Johnson said Leoso’s criminal history includes attempted second-degree assault with a deadly weapon, drug-dealing convictions from his early teens in Jefferson County, and a history of not showing up in court.

In setting bail, Basden said he has “significant concerns” about Leoso appearing in court based on Leoso’s warrant history and his behavior Friday.

“[The alleged victim] was not overly cooperative,” Basden added.

Given Leoso’s alleged threats toward her described in the probable cause statement, “I have concerns about her safety and how she could be influenced,” Basden said.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].

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