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Port Angeles Police Blotter

Posted on: May 23, 2022

04/04/22 What Happened on Sunday on Marine Drive? (Updated)

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CASE UPDATE: STEPHEN C. PEARCE, age 31, of Neah Bay, remains in jail on $50,000.00 bail. He has been charged with Arson 2, Malicious Mischief 1, Burglary 2, Possession of Incendiary Devices, Vehicle Prowl 2, Theft 3, and Obstructing Law Enforcement.

What Happened on Sunday on Marine Drive?

On April 3rd 2022 at about 6:50 AM PAPD Officers Elizabeth Hollis and Zac Moore responded to a report of a burglary in progress at a business on the 900 block of West Marine Drive.   While enroute Officers were advised that a person had been seen smashing out windows, throwing fire extinguishers out windows and causing other property destruction.  Arriving Officers saw a person inside one of the businesses and noted that the building contained three businesses.   

Officers requested additional assistance and began hailing the subject via PA system from outside the building.   The  subject was advised that he was under arrest and ordered to come out of the building.  Officers were able to make contact with the subject via telephone.  He told Officers that he had bombs rigged inside the building and was prepared to detonate them.  He also expressed an awareness that there was a gas tank under the building and believed detonation would destroy the building and marina, plus kill everyone in  the area.  He also reported being armed with a .45 cal. handgun and demanded drugs (methamphetamine and fentanyl).

PAPD established incident command and Washington State Patrol SWAT and Bomb Squad was requested.  PA Fire units responded and were staged nearby.  PAPD and Sequim PD K-9 teams were also called out and staged.  Marine Drive was closed and an area that included the Marina was evacuated.  The area crisis negotiation team was also called out.   While attempting to negotiate with the subject Officers could see the subject throw a flaming object through a window.  This behavior increased the danger to persons present and the potential for a fire.   A decision was made to enter the building.  WSP SWAT breached a garage door and the suspect was taken into custody.   

PAPD Detectives applied for and received a search warrant for all of the building.  Detectives, WSP Bomb Squad and Officers subsequently processed a large scene for evidence and located at least six improvised explosive devices.   Initial estimate of damage to the three businesses was at least $5,000.00.

A subject who was identified as Stephen C. Pearce (31 years old and from Neah Bay) was arrested and later booked into the Clallam County Jail on probable cause Arson in the 2nd Degree, Malicious Mischief 2nd Degree, Burglary in the 2nd Degree, Vehicle Prowl in the 2nd Degree, Theft in the 3rd Degree, Obstructing Law Enforcement Officers and Possession of Incendiary Devices.  Pearce was transported by ambulance to the Olympic Medical Center and examined by medical staff to be cleared for incarceration.  A search warrant was also obtained for a blood sample.

PAPD Detective Sgt. Kori Malone was the Incident Commander.   PAPD received assistance from agencies that included the Port Angeles Fire Department, the Washington State Patrol, the Lower Elwha Police, the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office, the Sequim Police Department, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and the Port of Port Angeles.    The Prosecuting Attorney will review the case and determine which charges to file.      

{Pictured:  Detective Sgt. Kori Malone, Officer Beth Hollis and Officer Zach Moore).

KMaloneBHollisZMoore

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