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Port trespass charge dismissed

A prosecutor dismissed without prejudice a charge of criminal trespass against a man who allegedly entered the Port of Olympia on Nov. 8 after bluffing his way past a security guard, court papers state.

The dismissal without prejudice means city prosecutor Kalo Wilcox has up to a year to refile the charge against Evan Rohar, 21, of Tacoma. She said Wednesday that she has not decided whether to do so.

Olympia police made 62 arrests during port protests at and near the Port of Olympia that began Nov. 6. Protesters tried to block military equipment returning from Iraq to Fort Lewis by standing in front of vehicles. Olympia police used pepper spray and batons to remove protesters from the roads.

Olympia City Attorney Tom Morrill said Friday that it remains to be seen whether all the people who were arrested will be charged at Olympia Municipal Court. He noted that the court only has two prosecutors and one judge, and "It could be a big burden on the city."

Two people have been formally charged with misdemeanor citations in connection with the recent port protests. One is charged with pedestrian interference and resisting arrest; the other is charged with pedestrian interference and obstructing a peace officer.

According to the probable-cause statement to support Rohar's arrest Nov. 8, police detained Rohar in the north side of the port, "amongst all of the military equipment." Rohar "explained that he was a port employee, and he just wanted to look at the military equipment."

"Further investigation by Sgt. Bender revealed that Rohar is an employee of the Port of Tacoma, but has no authority to be on Port of Olympia grounds," the statement reads.

The probable-cause statement added, "Rohar used his Port of Tacoma ID to bluff his way past the security guard at the front gate."

Reached Wednesday night, Rohar said, "I didn't bluff anybody. And that's it." He declined further comment.

According to Rohar's probable-cause statement, after police arrested Rohar, they found "a green bandana tied in a way that it could be used for a mask, and an oven glove. Protesters use oven gloves to pick up and throw hot tear gas canisters."

Rohar also had a map of downtown Olympia "with the front gate of the port highlighted." He also had an Olympia Port Militarization Resistance flier, according to the statement.

Criminal trespass is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

Jeremy Pawloski covers public safety for The Olympian. He can be reached at 360-754-5465 or jpawloski@theolympian.com.

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