Shane Michael Wheeler, 28, was arrested on felony assault charges after he allegedly threatened a woman “with whom he had a significant relationship” and a sheriff’s deputy with a “hog splitter” on Saturday, Feb. 25.
A spokesman with the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office described the weapon as “a meat cleaver with a length of 34 inches, with a blade of 14 inches, designed to be wielded with two hands like an axe.”
At approximately 1:50 p.m. deputies were called to a home at 51 Meadow Drive near Sequim. Lacey Grunwaldt told deputies Wheeler had punched her in the face. After she fled to her son’s bedroom, Wheeler attempted to chop the door open, she said.
Grunwaldt told the deputies Wheeler was upstairs in her home destroying household furnishings with the cleaver.
The couple’s son was in the home and witnessed much of the violence.
Deputy Ken Oien was confronted by Wheeler, who was holding a small, unlit propane torch and the hog splitter.
After Wheeler dropped the torch and prepared to swing the hog splitter, Oien drew his weapon and ordered Wheeler to drop his weapon. Wheeler instead turned and fled up the stairs of the home. Oien fired a Taser cartridge at Wheeler. It was only partially effective, but Wheeler dropped the weapon and fled down a different staircase and out a back window.
Chief Deputy Ron Cameron said Oien “elected not to shoot the person because he saw an opportunity” to avoid that outcome. “In the end, both the suspect and the deputy ended up with minor injuries,” he said.
Additional law enforcement officers were requested and the Sheriff’s Office was assisted by members of the Sequim Police Department and by Port Angeles Police Department Cpl. Kevin Miller and his K-9 partner, Jag.
Containment was established and after a short K-9 track, Jag was successful in locating Wheeler.
Wheeler sustained minor injuries from the K-9 contact, was treated at the hospital, and was booked into the Clallam County jail on suspicion of second-degree assault (domestic violence), second-degree assault of a law enforcement officer, second-degree malicious mischief (domestic violence), assault/reckless endangerment in violation of a protective order and resisting arrest.
Wheeler is being held in the Clallam County jail on $250,000 bail.