A Sequim man was arrested and booked into Clallam County Jail for felony harassment with threats to kill and malicious harassment last week following an incident with the driver of a Jamestown S’Klallam tribal school bus.
The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office reports that on Dec. 20, Sequim resident Roger Garman, 58, stood in the middle of the 100 block of Boyce Road, with his arms outstretched, in an attempt to stop a Jamestown S’Klallam school bus.
Garman used racial slurs while complaining to the driver about her driving what he considered to be too fast for the gravel roadway, and stated, “The next time I see you doing it, I’m going to shoot you,” according to a sheriff’s office report.
After the confrontation, Garman called the administrative offices of the Jamestown S’Klallam tribe to complain about the driver’s driving, sheriff’s office representatives said.
With this information, Clallam County deputies applied for and obtained a search warrant for Garman’s residence. Garman was taken in to custody. The warrant also allowed for the removal and safekeeping of Garman’s firearms, the sheriff’s office noted.
A 58-year-old Sequim man arrested after allegedly threatening a school bus driver for the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe while using a racial slur was released Dec. 21, on his own recognizance.
Garman, has been charged with felony malicious harassment-threatening a specific person, punishable by up to five years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
Clallam County Superior Court Judge Brian Coughenour turned down Deputy Prosecuting Attorney April King’s request that Garman be held on $5,000 bail and set Garman’s arraignment for 1:30 p.m. Dec. 29.
A determination of probable cause alleged that Garman stopped the school bus on the road in front of his house by standing in the middle of North Boyce Road at about 3:45 p.m. Wednesday and yelling at the female driver.
Chief Criminal Deputy Brian King of the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday that the school bus was empty and that the driver rolled down the window of the bus to talk to Garman.
“You (expletive) Indians, speeding up and down my roads,” Garman said, according to the probable cause statement.
“The next time I see you doing it, I’m going to shoot you.”
The driver said she was “scared down to (her) bones.”
She “quickly drove away,” driving a route she would not normally drive “because she was afraid he might actually have a gun on his person,” according to the probable cause statement.
About 15 minutes later, Garman called a tribal office and spoke to an executive assistant to tribal CEO Ron Allen.
Garman told the woman he “was tired of bus drivers speeding down his road” and that “he would take care of it next time by shooting her (the school bus driver) and breaking her neck,” according to the probable cause statement.
“This does not appear to be any sort of reasonably provoked offense,” King said in arguing for the bail amount.
“It was basically committed against a member of the public out doing her job.”
Harry Gasnick of Clallam Public Defender, representing Garman, said his client has been living in Clallam County for more than 20 years and does not have a recent criminal history.
What criminal history Garman does have indicates that he abides by what judges tell him to do, Gasnick said.
He said Garman’s income is from Social Security due to a disability.
The alleged threat arose out of the operation of the school bus, not the ethnicity of the driver, Gasnick said.
Coughenour said that it appears Garman has appeared in court as directed.
Can file complaint
He said Garman can file a complaint about traffic but must not stop or interfere with traffic in front of his house.
The judge said that Garman cannot possess firearms.
“It appears the primary concern is the allegation of a threat against a school bus driving on the road, I assume in front of your premises,” Coughenour said.
“I’m doing this because there was an allegation that there was a threat to shoot, but that any pistol that you have has been seized.”
Garman told Coughenour he bought the house nine months ago.
Paul Gottlieb is a Senior Staff Writer with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at pgottlieb@ peninsuladailynews.com.