Noise protester, teen get into altercation in Port Angeles

Port Angeles police received reports that James Naval, 51, of Sequim had hit a 17-year-old girl with a stick attached to a sign.

PORT ANGELES — A Sequim man protesting Harley-Davidson motorcycle noise and a teenage girl will face potential misdemeanor assault charges after getting into a spat at the intersection of Lincoln and First Street.

Port Angeles police were called to the intersection at about 11:47 a.m. Friday after receiving reports that James Naval, 51, of Sequim had hit a 17-year-old girl with a stick attached to a sign, said Cpl. David Dombrowski of the Port Angeles Police Department.

The name of the girl is not being released because she is a minor.

“There were two young women, and they saw this guy with a placard on the southeast corner by the Texaco station with a sign that protested the noise of Harley-Davidson motorcycles,” Dombrowski said.

The 20-year-old woman with the minor was carrying a 1-year-old baby in a chest harness at the time, Dombrowski said.

“The 17-year-old and her adult friend … walked up to James Naval and asked him what his sign meant, and they had some type of discussion,” Dombrowski said.

“The 17-year-old then left and went across the street to … the northwest corner of the intersection.”

The woman remained, continuing the discussion with Naval, Dombrowski said, and the conversation became heated.

“Everybody said Mr. Naval was using very crude language … which I am not going to repeat,” Dombrowski said. “It was [an] unprintable, vulgar conversation.”

The minor rushed back across the street to defend her friend and “spit some pop on Naval,” Dombrowski.

In response, Naval “grabs his sign, she turns around to run across the street and he hits her [and] pokes her in the back with the stick of the placard,” Dombrowski said.

“He says it was very light because he was off balance.”

The girl “accidentally drops her cellphone as she runs to the other side of Lincoln, so he picks up her cellphone and smashes it on the ground, and [the 20-year-old] videos him smashing the phone.”

Police then arrived on scene and de-escalated the situation, Dombrowski said.

Naval was cited for malicious mischief, a misdemeanor, for smashing the cellphone, Dombrowski said.

Additionally, both may face misdemeanor assault charges — the girl for spitting soda and Naval for striking her with the sign — with reports of the incident forwarded to the prosecuting attorney’s office for review, Dombrowski said.

No one was injured during the incident, and no emergency personnel were dispatched, Dombrowski said.

“With the heavy traffic in the area, it could have gone worse,” he said. “Fortunately, it didn’t.”

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Features Editor Chris McDaniel can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56650, or at cmcdaniel@peninsuladailynews.com.

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