Man arrested after reportedly threatening Clallam County deputies with a sword

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — A man reportedly living in a motor home in the east Port Angeles Walmart parking lot is set to be arraigned Friday after Clallam County sheriff's deputies say he threatened them with death while holding a sword and claiming he was the archangel Gabriel.

A Walmart employee called 9-1-1 at 10:47 a.m. Tuesday about the man, later identified as Michael Robert Freestone, 48, who was reportedly walking around the outside the store with a 4-foot broadsword in his hand, said Detective Sgt. John Keegan with the Sheriff's Office.

Freestone was charged Tuesday with one count of harassment-threats to kill in Clallam County Superior Court for allegedly threatening to kill deputies as they attempted to speak with him from outside his motor home in the northeast corner of the Walmart parking lot, according to deputies' accounts.

During the hearing, Judge Christopher Melly ordered a mental evaluation done on Freestone by staff from Peninsula Behavioral Health.

Freestone remained in jail Wednesday on $10,000 bail.

Deputies gave this account of the events leading to Freestone's arrest:

With sword, dog

Deputy Kenneth Oien came to the Walmart at 3411 E. Kolonels Way after an employee called about a man walking around outside the store with a sword and a dog.

The man, later identified as Freestone, refused to leave after a Walmart manager had told him to do so.

Freestone also told the manager he was an angel and claimed to be invisible to police.

The Walmart staffers told Oien they wanted Freestone arrested for trespassing.

Oien and Deputy William Cortani Jr., who had arrived to assist, spoke with Freestone from outside his motor home.

Freestone, who was holding a sword and becoming agitated, told deputies he did not have to obey them because he was the son of God and refused commands to come out of the motor home or to move it from the property.

“[Freestone] stated he was the archangel Gabriel and we would see his fury if we did not leave,” Oien wrote.

“He said we would be smote and we were about to feel his wrath.”

Cortani and Oien continued talking with Freestone after requesting backup and a crisis negotiator and heard Freestone threaten them with death.

“[Freestone] said 'I am going to kill you,'” Oien wrote.

“He said 'I am the Archangel of death, and I will kill you all.'”

Keegan, a trained crisis negotiator, continued talking with Freestone without success.

After Sgt. Eric Munger and Undersheriff Ron Peregrin were called to the scene, deputies requested and received a warrant by telephone to enter Freestone's motor home and arrest him.

Peregrin forced open the door to the motor home and found Freestone raising his sword.

Fired stun gun

Cortani then reached through the window of the motor home, warned Freestone he was going to use his stun gun and fired it at Freestone.

Freestone was subdued with the stun gun, allowing Munger, Keegan and Peregrin to go into the motor home and arrest him.

The sword was seized as evidence, and the dog Freestone had was taken to the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society.

__________

Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: August 06. 2014 6:25PM
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