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71-year-old man assaulted in the arb Feb. 26

By Andrew Montgomery

Around 8:15 a.m., Feb. 26, 2020, Bellingham Police Department officers were sent to check on the welfare of a 71-year-old man on Bill McDonald Parkway, near Sehome High School, who was bleeding from the head, said Lt. Claudia Murphy, BPD’s public information officer. 

According to a message sent out by WWU Crime Notice, the victim stated that he had been walking in the wooded area of the Sehome Hill Arboretum when a man approached and demanded his money. When he refused, the perpetrator suspect allegedly threw rocks at him, striking him in the head. Officers received information about what happened and a description of the suspect, after which the victim was taken to the hospital, Murphy said. 

Officers searched the area, but did not find anyone matching the description, or any signs of a struggle, Murphy said. Officers spoke to the victim at the hospital.

“We did receive some differing information from what was originally reported, but do not know if that is due to the injuries the victim sustained or not. I want to make clear that I am not saying the victim contradicted himself,” Murphy said in an email, in which she used bold type to emphasize her meaning. 

Further investigation will be done in the case, he said. It does not appear that any property was taken from the man. No suspect is in custody or has been identified, Murphy said.

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