Man wields machete in Port Angeles road rage incident

Police: Lee punches driver, breaks window of another vehicle

PORT ANGELES — A Port Angeles man was arrested following a road rage incident that began with a driver being told to get off his cellphone, the Port Angeles Police Department said.

Christopher L. Lee, 36, was booked into the Clallam County jail Monday night on investigation of two counts of first-degree assault and one count of third-degree malicious mischief.

Officers responded about 8 p.m. to an incident that began at Front and Race streets, the police department stated in a press release. A truck and a car were next to each other at the stoplight when the driver of the truck yelled to the other driver to hang up his phone and drive.

The ensuing incident continued south on Race Street and west onto Lauridsen Boulevard before the two vehicles stopped near the intersection of Lauridsen and Francis Street, police said. Then Lee, who had been on his cellphone, got out and punched the driver of the truck before he drove home briefly and returned with a machete, the police department said.

Lee located a third vehicle occupied by people who were acquainted with the driver of the truck, police said. Lee blocked in the third vehicle near the Port Angeles Library, police said.

Lee then got out of his car with the machete, which he used to break the driver’s side window of the third vehicle, causing shattered glass to cut the face of the female driver, police said. As Lee began going around to the vehicle’s passenger side, the female driver sped off.

Lee got back into his car and found the truck again in a nearby alley off Peabody Street, police said. He got out of the car with the machete and confronted the man and woman near the truck.

At that point, the truck’s driver was armed with a large wrench. Lee allegedly swung the machete at the man but missed and creased the truck’s tailgate, police said.

Lee got back in his car and left the area before officers located him at his nearby home and arrested him.

“Officers are continuing the follow-up investigation in cooperation with the prosecutor’s office,” police said.

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Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached by email at brian.gawley@peninsulanews.us.

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