Armed man arrested in Olympic National Park pleads guilty to

A Port Angeles man accused of assaulting his girlfriend at Olympic National Park and ranting about an impending revolution pleaded guilty on Wednesday to interfering with a government communication system.

Caleb Jesse Chapman, 42, disabled the Olympic National Park radio communications site at the Blue Mountain summit early on Aug. 29, 2021, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Western Washington said.

The park’s radio repeater is used for emergency response, public safety and administrative communications, the office said.

A few hours prior, just after midnight, Chapman went to a stranger’s home armed with a handgun and an AR-15 style rifle while high on methamphetamine, according to the office. He handed the stranger a letter outlining concerns over political events, difficulty getting ammunition and his belief that a revolution would ensue in the Olympic Peninsula, Texas and other places, the office said.

Chapman drove his girlfriend to Olympic National Park, where he cut down a tree to block a road to the Deer Park campground, according to the office.

Chapman told his girlfriend she was going to die in the revolution, the office said, and she called 911. He threw a can of soup at her, cutting her leg, according to the office.

He’s also accused of repeatedly slamming the woman’s head against a car seat and then storming off into the woods with nine firearms and over 3,500 rounds of ammunition.

Officials as a result evacuated and closed a section of Olympic National Park. A drone located Chapman two days later, the office said, and he fired a short-barrel shotgun before surrendering without injury.

As part of his plea agreement in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, Chapman agreed to make restitution to people harmed by his actions and the partial closure of the park.

While interference with a federal communications system is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, prosecutors will recommend no more than 10 months in prison under Chapman’s plea agreement.

Information from The Seattle Times archives is included in this story.