FORKS — A Forks man who fled from law enforcement officers swam across the Sol Duc River on Thursday and spent the night outdoors before he was apprehended Friday morning, almost 24 hours later.
Michael Brandon Gross, 31, of Forks was arrested at 7 a.m. Friday and was taken to Forks Community Hospital to be treated for exposure, West End Clallam County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ed Anderson said Friday.
“He was wet and cold,” Anderson said.
A Forks resident reported seeing Gross near a bridge over the Sol Duc after about a half-mile from where he eluded law enforcement officers who were pursuing him on investigation of second-degree arson and other possible crimes, Anderson said.
A Forks police officer arrested Gross, who was suspected of violating a court order and was being investigated for arson-domestic violence for an incident Thursday in a shop at a residence on Hammer Way in Forks, Anderson said.
“It was his fourth violation on the court order,” Anderson said.
Gross set a fire at the shop before putting it out, causing minimal damage to the structure, Anderson said.
He ran from officers at about 9:20 a.m. Thursday.
“We chased him with dogs and everything else, but we didn’t catch him,” Anderson said.
“We were able to see him swimming the river. He was fighting the current.
“It was kind of scary not knowing if the current was going to take him down the river or what.
“You don’t know about a river like that. It’s dangerous.”
Gross remained in custody Sunday afternoon in the Clallam County jail for investigation of second-degree arson-domestic violence, felony violation of a court order, third-degree malicious mischief-domestic violence and resisting arrest.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].
Managing Editor Brian McLean and Reporter Rob Ollikainen contributed to this report.