Bremerton man charged with felony assault after allegedly hitting ferry worker with car

A Bremerton man faces a felony assault charge after police say he intentionally hit a traffic attendant while trying to board the ferry to Bainbridge Island.

Charges were filed in King County against David A. Dawson after an incident on Feb. 11 that left Washington State Ferries employee Paul Roman with a bruised hand and concussion symptoms lasting “two and a half months,” police said, keeping him out of work.

According to a certificate of probable cause prepared by state police and filed in King County on Dec. 21, Dawson, 69, drove onto Colman Dock around 4:39 p.m. along with two passengers in his Mercedes. He was directed to wait in line at Lane 43, but drove toward loading traffic, police said, stating “he wanted to get on the boat that was loading.”

Despite instructions from traffic attendants, Dawson is alleged to have “sharply pulled out of [his] holding lane,” a traffic attendant told police, and passed other cars. He proceeded to drive to the ferry entrance “at a fairly quick rate of speed,” one witness said, according to court records.

Dock attendant Paul Roman was instructed to stop the Mercedes driver, who was not authorized to board. He signaled the driver to stop by putting his hands up, the filing states, at which point “the driver sped up and hit Roman.”

“Roman rolled up on the hood and fell to the ground,” police said, hitting his head and left hand on the pavement.

After the incident Dawson allegedly asked Roman, “Why did you jump on my car?”

Roman told police he made eye contact with Roman just before the incident, and could “see a look of fury on his face.”

Ship Second Mate Timothy Thompson told police he had never seen anything like the incident in his 18 years working for WSF.

Roman suffered a contusion on his head and swelling and discoloration on his left hand. He was transported to the hospital and was diagnosed with a concussion.

Dawson pleaded not guilty at an arraignment in King County Jan. 3.

He faces one count of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon; a Class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Dawson has prior convictions for the attempted unlawful possession of a firearm and two DUIs, according to police.

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