A 41-year-old Port Angeles man remains jailed in Clallam County as he awaits transfer to federal custody for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend at Olympic National Park on Sunday. The incident prompted officials to close portions of the park while they searched for an armed man who had ranted about an impending revolution, according to jail and court records.
After running into the woods wearing a tactical vest and armed with an assault-style rifle, a shotgun and several handguns on Sunday, Caleb Chapman was arrested Tuesday evening. On Wednesday, a federal complaint accusing him of assault by striking, beating or wounding was filed in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, court records show.
The case was investigated by the FBI because the alleged offense occurred on federal land. U.S. attorneys have requested a detention hearing but given the long holiday weekend, it is unclear from court records when Chapman will appear in federal court.
According to the complaint, Chapman began acting erratically after using meth early Sunday, dropped his kids off at his brother’s house, then delivered notes to two acquaintances around 2 a.m. The notes apparently described Chapman’s grievances with the White House, his difficulty in purchasing ammunition and his contention that “an imminent revolution” would start within the next 30 days in Texas and on the Olympic Peninsula, the complaint says.
Chapman’s girlfriend later told agents that while driving to the Deer Park campground, Chapman stopped his pickup and walked into the woods; she saw embers from a fire in the area where he had gone and said when Chapman returned, he smelled of gasoline, according to the complaint.
A 100-by-100-foot fire was reported early Sunday morning near power lines on the Hurricane Ridge parkway, and the Blue Mountain radio repeater at Deer Park stopped functioning Sunday afternoon, park officials reported earlier this week.
After arriving at the campground around 6 a.m., Chapman became upset, told his girlfriend she was going to die because of the revolution, made suicidal comments, then threw a can of soup at her, cutting the woman’s leg, says the complaint. He is then accused of repeatedly slamming the woman’s head against a car seat before walking into the woods, “screaming and yelling,” it says.
The girlfriend told agents Chapman believes “there is going to be an armed conflict with the government,” and she expressed concern that he’d act violently toward law enforcement officers if he felt threatened, says the federal complaint.
Before Chapman’s arrest, Hurricane Ridge Road and Obstruction Point Road were temporarily closed to the public, but have reopened. Deer Park Road and the campground remained closed as of Thursday afternoon.
Information from The Seattle Times archives is included in this story.