A Sequim man is being held on $50,000 bail in Clallam County Jail for allegedly threatening and trying to hit four children in a Sequim church parking lot, assaulting and threatening Sheriff deputies and eluding law enforcement in mid-September.
Fifty-nine-year-old John Fitzgerald Barcellos was charged Sept. 20 in Clallam County Superior Court with 10 felonies: three counts of assault in the second degree with a deadly weapon; four counts of harassment with threats to kill; assault in the third degree of a law enforcement officer; attempt to elude with a special allegation of endangerment, and harassment with threats against a criminal justice participant.
All charges range from 5-10 years in prison and/or $10,000-$20,000 in fines each.
Barcellos first appeared in court on Sept. 18 where judge Lauren Erickson set his bail, and assigned him public defender Harry Gasnick. His arraignment is set for 9 a.m. Sept. 29 in Superior Court.
Barcellos was allegedly involved in two hostile incidents on Sept. 16, Clallam County Sheriff’s Office reports, the first occurring around 4 p.m. when he struck a teen’s vehicle with his car after tailgating and speeding past it.
Sgt. Shaun Minks said teenagers were driving east on Old Olympic Highway when Barcellos passed them and pulled over to the side of the road waiting for them to pass before tailgating them. He did this a second time before they both eventually pulled over and Barcellos purposefully backed into their vehicle, Minks said, and as he fled the scene the teenagers followed him to take pictures of his car and license plate.
Barcellos was “released” of charges of second degree assault and hit-and-run, said Clallam County deputy prosecutor Matthew Roberson because he needed more information to make a charging decision.
“I will make a charging decision once I review further materials,” Roberson said via email.
At about 9 p.m. on Sept. 16, deputies responded to Sequim Seventh-day Adventist Church just north of Sequim, where Barcellos had allegedly attempted to hit four children in the parking lot with his car and threatened them with a hatchet.
According to court documents, a mother called 9-1-1 after one of her children called her saying an older man drove up, cursed them and told them to leave or he was going to kill them.
The children were playing in the lot when Barcellos drove down the hill and into the lot and asked them if they were messing with him in the nearby cemetery, but they weren’t sure what he was talking about, court documents state.
He then made threats with a hatchet and drove towards them, prompting them to hide on a stairwell and behind a light pole, deputies report.
According to court documents, interviews with the children by deputy Dylan Heck indicated Barcellos’ vehicle came within inches of them while driving at high speeds.
Heck wrote in his probable cause statement that “(Barcellos) attempted to drive into the children or had attempted to scare the children by driving towards them and the children felt a reasonable fear for their safety as a result of the vehicle nearly striking them resulting in the children needing to take actions to avoid being struck.”
The children fled the church lot while Barcellos remained in the parking lot until deputies arrived and made contact with him, Minks said.
Heck attempted to inform Barcellos he was under arrest multiple times, according to court documents, but Barcellos said he was not going to get out and expressed an intent to drive away.
Deputy Harold Edwards reported that he attempted to access Barcellos’ passenger door but it was locked, and Barcellos put his car into gear and drove off, intentionally hitting Edwards’ vehicle.
Edwards pursued Barcellos north on Sequim-Dungeness Way and attempted two pursuit intervention techniques, with the second attempt hitting Barcellos’ car; however, he recovered and remained on the roadway, court documents state.
Traveling at about 60 miles per hour, Barcellos struck a small island on the south side of the Woodcock Road roundabout and then the roundabout curb, causing him to lose control and go through a fence and hit an irrigation pipe on the intersection’s northeast corner, court documents state.
No injuries were reported from any of the incidents, deputies said.
During transport to Clallam County Jail, Heck reports Barcellos made threats against him and his family.