A man accused of threatening workers at a business in Centralia, throwing items at vehicles and hitting a Centralia Police Department officer with a plastic logger’s wedge on Wednesday is being held in the Lewis County Jail with bail set at $25,000.
In a preliminary hearing Friday, Brian D. Ames, 56, of Chehalis, was charged with third-degree assault, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, and misdemeanor charges including harassment and two related to possession and use of drugs.
Because of a significant number of warrants issued for him in the past and his criminal history, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Brad Meagher asked that Ames be held at $25,000 bail, which was granted.
“He presents not only a flight risk but a risk to the public as well,” Meagher said in court.
Staff at the jail reported various issues with Ames’ ability to comply, including that he’d been “remaining nude,” “refusing to get dressed,” urinating in inappropriate places and refusing to appear in court on Thursday.
However, on Friday afternoon, he attended court remotely via video from the jail and appeared to be quipping and smiling with staff before the hearing began.
A video of Ames’ arrest in Centralia recorded by a witness and posted to their Facebook page on Wednesday had garnered over 24,000 views by Friday night.
Officers with the Centralia Police Department first contacted Ames when they were responding to a 911 call from a business in the 100 block of West Pine Street just after 10:55 a.m. on Wednesday.
Ames allegedly entered the business and was “brandishing (a) logger’s wedge above his head as if he was going to hit one of the employees,” according to court documents. He was reportedly “screaming at employees inside the business” and told them not to call 911.
“It was clear to the employee that Ames was threatening to use the wedge as a weapon if he did not comply with his demand,” according to court documents.
Upon the officers’ arrival, Ames had reportedly left the building and ran into traffic, where he was allegedly “throwing items at vehicle traffic.”
A responding sergeant reportedly told Ames “to sit on a nearby bench so they could determine what was going on” but when Ames saw another officer walking across the street, he reportedly “stood up and began walking from the sidewalk and into the road,” documents state.
“Concerned that Ames was walking into traffic,” the officer “grabbed ahold of Ames’ jacket to prevent him from walking away and told him to stay put,” according to court documents.
Immediately, Ames allegedly “turned toward the officer and began hitting his left hand with a large plastic logger’s wedge that he was holding.”
Ames then allegedly continued trying to pull away from the officer, bringing both of them into the roadway.
After he reportedly resisted arrest, the officer then “grabbed Ames and swung him to the ground,” where Ames allegedly continued to resist as the officer and sergeant handcuffed him.
A small glass pipe with burnt residue and a baggie containing suspected methamphetamine were seized upon his arrest.
While all that was asked of Ames during the hearing was whether he had reviewed the charges against him and understood his constitutional rights, he began to dispute the charges, with which Defense Attorney Rachael Tiller said he was “very upset.”
Ames’ next court appearance is set for March 9.