Man accused of chasing woman in car with hammer

A deputy with the Island County Sheriff’s Office found the suspect, later identified as Peter Clark, hiding in bushes, armed with two hammers.

A South Whidbey man is accused of chasing after a woman in a car while he was wielding a hammer in a grocery store parking lot on June 1, according to court documents.

Shortly afterward, a deputy with the Island County Sheriff’s Office found the suspect, later identified as Peter Clark, hiding in bushes, armed with two hammers.

A woman who worked at a coffee stand next to the Payless Foods parking lot in Freeland stopped by the stand at about 11:30 p.m. and noticed a man walking a bicycle with a hammer in his hand, according to a report by a deputy with the Island County Sheriff’s Office.

The woman parked and kept an eye on the hammer-holding man since he seemed a bit suspicious.

The man, however, started approaching her car and then dropped the bike and ran at her, hammer raised over his head, according to a deputy’s report on the incident.

The woman drove off, but the man kept chasing her out of the parking lot.

The man then ran into bushes at a nearby business, the report states.

A couple of deputies hid behind nearby Ace Hardware in an attempt to catch the suspect when he returned to his bike, which was left behind. The deputies eventually gave up.

One of the deputies later located Clark, the suspect, hiding in bushes near Harbor Inn. Clark had two hammers and a blue backpack.

The deputy asked Clark to exit the bushes, which he did in “a very aggressive posture.” After the deputy told him to drop the hammers, he threw them on the ground, but then darted towards them.

The deputy drew a taser and warned Clark not to pick them up; Clark gave up, hammerless.

Clark told the deputy that he was scared after seeing someone watching him in the parking lot, so he tried to scare off the person by wielding a hammer, the report states.

After being arrested, Clark asked if he could bring the hammer to jail with him.

Clark appeared in Island County Superior Court June 2. Judge Christon Skinner found probable cause existed to believe Clark committed assault in the second degree.

The prosecution asked that Clark be held on $5,000 bail, but Skinner ruled that he could be released on his personal recognizance pending a mental health evaluation.

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