Man arrested following alleged attack with machete

Suspect tumbles down ravine in escape attempt

PORT ANGELES — A Port Angeles man was being held Sunday in the Clallam County jail in lieu of $85,000 bail for an alleged felony assault with a machete.

Leo Blanton, 38, was injured when he went down a ravine as Clallam County Sheriff’s deputies attempted to take him into custody Wednesday for the assault that allegedly took place in a residence in Port Angeles. He was taken to Olympic Medical Center and was in the Clallam County jail on Sunday.

According to the victim’s statement, Blanton is a “friend of a friend” who came to the man’s residence Oct. 23 to drop off property. The victim was advised by a third party that the property was stolen, and the man told Blanton he didn’t want to be in possession of stolen property.

The victim said Blanton followed him outside and swung a machete at him. The man blocked the machete swing with his forearm, but he was hit in the forehead by the weapon. He told law enforcement he didn’t think the actual blade of the weapon hit him. Blanton then fled from the property, the statement said.

The victim provided video surveillance video to the Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office report said the suspect can be seen in the video swinging a machete at the victim three times and punching and kicking a deputy, although it isn’t clear in the video when the machete hit the victim. A deputy also reported seeing three cuts on the victim’s forehead.

A warrant was issued for Blanton for probable cause for first-degree assault, a Class A felony with a maximum penalty of life in prison. On Wednesday, the victim said Blanton was back at his residence and called law enforcement.

Two deputies arrived 12 minutes later and saw Blanton in the area.

Clallam County Sheriff’s Sgt. Brian Knutson said in his report that Blanton ran from the scene through residential yards and jumped off a ravine about 25 feet down.

“I stopped at the edge of the ravine and watched Blanton tumble down to the bottom,” Knutson stated in his report.

Knutson reached the bottom of the ravine but lost sight of Blanton, who had run into thick brush. Port Angeles police officers responded and took Blanton into custody when he came out of the brush 15 minutes later.

The Sheriff’s Office report stated Blanton was bleeding from the back of his head and had scratches on his face and head. He was treated by medics and taken to OMC to be cleared to be taken to the jail.

Knutson said Blanton denied hitting the victim with a machete but was unable to recall being at the victim’s residence on Oct. 23, saying, “I was pretty out of it.”

Bond was set at $75,000 on the assault charge and $10,000 for a felony warrant on prior charges. He was also being investigated for resisting arrest and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, according to the jail roster.

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Sports editor Pierre LaBossiere can be reached by email at [email protected]

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