Man points gun at good Samaritan helping train crash workers, prosecutors say

A Rochester man pulled a gun on a good Samaritan delivering food to first responders in the wake of the train derailment Monday on Interstate 5 south of DuPont, Pierce County prosecutors say.

The 52-year-old was arraigned Tuesday in Pierce County Superior Court on charges of second-degree assault and making a false statement to police. He was released on his own recognizance and ordered to surrender all of his firearms.

According to charging documents:

A man was driving with another person toward the site of the train derailment Monday evening when he tried to merge into the next lane over.

The Rochester man was not pleased with that, to the point that he pulled out a 9mm handgun, pointed it at the good Samaritan and threatened to kill him.

The good Samaritan called 911, and the Washington State Patrol and DuPont police responded.

A DuPont officer was able to pull over the Rochester man and found a knife on his person.

The man told the officer he never pulled out a gun, but he said he pointed his finger at his fellow motorist. He said there was a gun in the car but it was locked in a box for which he didn’t have a key with him.

The man let police search his vehicle and the man told them about his holster, which was empty because he didn’t want to carry his gun while driving home. He told them he put the gun away, but immediately backtracked.

“Never mind, I didn’t have the key,” he told officers. “No, I didn’t do that.”

Police found the holster and brought it back to the man, who eventually admitted the key to the gun’s box was in his shoe.

They unlocked the box to find the 9mm gun and 15 bullets.

Kenny Ocker: 253-597-8627, @KennyOcker