FORKS – Clallam County Sheriff’s Deputies were called upon to escort a Spokane family out of Forks Wednesday after they were confronted by armed residents who accused them of being left-wing radicals and terrorized them as they tried to camp in the area.
Law enforcement officers from the Sheriff’s Office, La Push Police and Quinault Fish and Wildlife responded and learned they were a multi-racial family of four who had driven their converted school bus to the Olympic Peninsula from Spokane. The family, a husband and wife, their sixteen-year-old daughter and the husband’s mother, had gone to Forks Outfitters earlier in the evening to buy some camping gear. There, the family was confronted by seven or eight car loads of people in the grocery store parking lot who repeatedly asked them if they were “ANTIFA” protesters. The family told the people they weren’t associated with any such group and were just camping.
The family had to drive their bus around vehicles in the parking lot in order to get back onto Highway 101 and leave Forks, while at least four vehicles followed them. Two of the vehicles had people in them carrying what appeared to be semi-automatic rifles.
The family drove their bus up the A Road and onto a logging spur where they pitched a tent to camp for the night. They became concerned for their safety after hearing gun shots and chain saws just down the road from where they were camping.
The family decided to pack up their camp and leave. As they drove back down the spur road they encountered the trees across the road blocking their way.
Deputies say they were contacted by four Forks High School students while they drove up the A Road toward the campers. The students used their chainsaw to clear the roadway for the family. Deputies escorted the family to the Sheriff’s Forks Detachment and interviewed them regarding the incident.
Shortly after leaving the Sheriff’s Detachment under police escort, the family’s bus broke down and officers helped them get the bus running again so they could continue their travels.
As late as Thursday afternoon, Forks residents were still posting photos of the incident on social media, claiming they had run bad actors out of town.
The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office is actively conducting a criminal investigation into the incident and says could be federal charges.
“Yes, there is a potential for federal charges related to the falling of the trees and any associated crimes that would have occurred within National Park jurisdiction. We’re investigating this as criminal harassment. Whether the facts and circumstances will rise to that, you know, that’s the focus of our investigation, and we are in the process of obtaining surveillance footage from Forks Outfitters, where the initial contact with the family was made.”
Photo 1: Forks-area residents confronting family. Photo 2: Social media post.
Banner photo also posted to social media showing bus approaching downed trees across the road.