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Contact: Penny Wagner, 360-565-3005
PORT ANGELES, WA: A coordinated, multiagency law enforcement response brought the incident at Deer Park to a safe resolution late Tuesday evening without injuries. Deer Park and Hurricane Ridge have been closed since Sunday morning for public safety due to an ongoing law enforcement incident involving an armed and potentially dangerous individual. The individual in custody is a 41-year-old male who is a resident of Port Angeles. The investigation is ongoing.
“The success of this response was dependent on the park working in close collaboration with the FBI and local law enforcement agencies,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum. “We are grateful to everyone involved for the safe resolution of this difficult situation.”
Sunday morning, park staff responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle associated with downed trees blocking access on Deer Park Road. Three trees were found to have been cut with a chainsaw and two had been successfully felled. The vehicle was confirmed to belong to an individual reported in a 911 call to Peninsula Communications Dispatch around 2:00 am Sunday morning. It was reported that the individual was heavily armed and there were concerns regarding his behavior.
The National Park Service evacuated Deer Park and Hurricane Ridge for public safety and helped visitors and backpackers exit the closed areas. The area closure included the nearby wilderness camping areas and hiking trails. A multi-agency response was put in place to respond to the situation. Public safety notifications and updates were initially posted on the park’s Twitter and Facebook accounts and emailed to local news desks and reporters.
Around 4:30 am Sunday morning, a fire was reported in the park near the power lines on the Hurricane Ridge parkway just above the intersection with Mount Angeles Road. The 100 foot by 100 foot fire was extinguished by the Port Angeles Fire Department, Clallam County Fire District No. 2, and Olympic Interagency Fire Management personnel. On Sunday afternoon, the Blue Mountain radio repeater at Deer Park stopped functioning. The park is investigating whether the fire and the situation with the radio repeater are related to the incident.
Thanks to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Port Angeles Police Department, Port Townsend Police Department, Sequim Police Department, Olympic Peninsula Narcotics Enforcement Team, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, and the National Park Service Pacific West Special Event Team for their assistance in a successful outcome.
Deer Park and Obstruction Point roads remain closed at this time due to the ongoing investigation. Hurricane Ridge Road reopened this morning.
Last updated: September 1, 2021