Sequim man faces hit-skip, assault charges

James McCauley, 60, Sequim, faces trial on one count each of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon and hit-and-run (injury accident) stemming from an Oct. 18 vehicle-pedestrian collision in Port Angeles.

McCauley's wife, Pat McCauley, 56, also of Sequim, was booked Oct. 23 for making false or misleading statements to a public servant in connection with the incident.

Both McCauleys were released pending further court action.

The victim, listed in court records as Sierra Swarm, was treated at Olympic Medical Center and released.

The McCauleys own and operate InsideOut Solutions, a marketing company that held the city's marketing contract from December 2000 until it gave up the contract April 30.

Both decline comment

The couple declined to comment on the charges to the Sequim Gazette.

According to court records, Port Angeles Police officers responded to a reported vehicle versus pedestrian collision at First and Peabody streets at 12:44 p.m. Oct. 18.

"The suspect vehicle appeared to have intentionally run into a pedestrian crossing in the sidewalk when the pedestrian did not get out of the crosswalk soon enough for the driver of a green VW Jetta that fled eastbound on First Street," according to the sworn statement of the Port Angeles police officer who investigated the incident.

The McCauleys were located later that afternoon and brought to the Port Angeles police station.

According to the officer's statement, James McCauley refused to make a statement, but Pat McCauley confirmed they were in a collision and her husband was the driver.

Officer: Man didn't jump

Pat McCauley said the pedestrian jumped off the sidewalk and onto the car hood, but the officer could find no evidence to support that, his statement said.

"The noticeable dent in the hood of the Jetta appeared to be more consistent with someone being struck, not jumping on the hood," the officer wrote.

"At no time did the vehicle stop to check the well-being of the person they had hit nor did they make any attempts to contact law enforcement to report the incident."

Statements taken from the victim pedestrian, his wife and "an independent third party" who observed the Jetta said they saw it "accelerate into and through the victim," the officer wrote. James McCauley was booked for first-degree assault and hit-and-run with bodily injury.

Until his trial, James McCauley is prohibited from contacting the victim or traveling outside western Washington.

Trial set for January

A two-day trial is set to begin Jan. 11, 2010, before Judge Brooke Taylor.

The maximum penalty for second-degree assault with a deadly weapon, a Class B felony, is 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine plus restitution and assessments.

The maximum penalty for hit-and-run resulting in injury, also a Class B felony, is the same.

Pat McCauley's arraignment was set for Oct. 30 in Clallam County Superior Court.

Making false or misleading statements to a public servant is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail or a $5,000 or both.

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