PORT ANGELES — A Sequim man has pleaded not guilty to making a racially motivated threat to a Jamestown S’Klallam school bus driver Dec. 20.
Roger Dale Garman, 58, will have a two-day trial beginning March 12 in Clallam County Superior Court, Judge Brian Coughenour decided Friday at Garman’s arraignment.
Garman has been charged with felony malicious harassment-threaten a specific person for allegedly threatening the 54-year-old driver of the bus the afternoon of Dec. 20 after he made her stop while she drove the vehicle southbound on North Boyce Road, where he lives.
The driver said Garman, dressed in sweatpants and a blue checkered shirt, stood in the road and stretched out his hand to stop the vehicle, according to the arrest report.
“You [expletive] Indians, speeding up and down my roads,” Garman said, according to the probable cause statement.
“The next time I see you doing it, I’m going to shoot you.”
The driver said she was “scared down to [her] bones.”
After the bus driver “quickly drove away,” she took notes recounting the incident in her log book.
A person is guilty of malicious harassment if the person “did maliciously and intentionally threaten a specific person, to wit: [the bus driver], because of the defendant’s perception of the victim’s race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, mental handicap, physical handicap, and did thereby place that person in reasonable fear of harm to person or property,” according to the criminal complaint.
The vehicle was “a clearly marked Jamestown tribal school bus,” according to the arrest report signed by reporting sheriff’s Deputy Amy Bundy and sheriff’s Sgt. John Hollis.
There were no children on the vehicle, Brian King, Clallam County chief criminal deputy, said in an interview.
An executive assistant to tribal CEO Ron Allen said that the bus driver called her at about 3:45 p.m. that day and told the assistant “a man had threatened to shoot her next time she drove down N. Boyce Road,” according to the arrest report.
The assistant said that Garman had called her at 3:30 p.m. that same day, 15 minutes before the alleged incident, and said he “was tired of bus driver speeding down his road,” according to the report.
Garman told the assistant “he would take care of it next time by shooting her [the school bus driver] and breaking her neck,” according to the report.
Bundy went to Garman’s house at 7 p.m. Dec. 20, little more than three hours after the alleged incident, according to the report.
“Mr. Garman admitted to putting his hand up and stopping the Jamestown bus,” according to the report.
“He stated, ‘I’ve yelled at her before’ in reference to the bus driving down N. Boyce Rd.”
Garman said he had not reported his interactions with the bus driver to the tribe or the Sheriff’s Office.
He said that at least five days a week, the bus speeds by his house at a speed too fast for the gravel road.
“Mr. Garman stated he did not remember everything he said but admitted he was angry when he yelled at the bus driver and stated, ‘I’m sorry,’ ” according to the report.
Garman was arrested that evening and taken to the Clallam County jail.
Coughenour released him on his own recognizance Dec. 21.
The maximum penalty for malicious harassment is five years in prison or a $10,000 fine, or both.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected]ws.com.