FORKS, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say a multiracial family camping on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state was harassed and confronted by people who accused them of being political activists with antifa and trapped them at a remote campsite in the woods.
Sgt. Shaun Minks of the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office says the family of four arrived Wednesday in the town of Forks, Washington, in an old converted school bus and stopped to buy camping supplies at a local store.
He said as they were leaving the store, the family was confronted by people in several vehicles who asked them if they were from antifa — short for “anti-fascists”— an umbrella term for leftist militant groups that confront or resist neo-Nazis and white supremacists at demonstrations.
The family told the people they weren’t associated with any group and were camping. Minks said the family was able to drive out of the parking lot and head for a campsite off a logging road about five miles outside of Forks.
The Peninsula Daily News reports the family told deputies that at least four vehicles followed them as they drove away. They said that two of the vehicles had people in them carrying what appeared to be semi-automatic rifles.
Authorities say the family became concerned later when they heard gunshots and other commotion and decided to leave the campsite. However trees had been felled across a road, trapping them.
The family called 911 for help. Four local high school students used a chainsaw to help clear the road for the family.
Deputies arrived and escorted the family out. The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office is investigating.