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Saturday, February 27, 2021

Man admits to using drugs before driving into store

The aftermath of the alleged DUI incident at Lakeway Fred Meyer, Oct. 7. *This photo was on the Bellingham Herald, and was attributed to the Bellingham PD, but says courtesy of the Bellingham Herald, so I’m not sure how to attribute that correctly. The police report mentions photos taken by them but was not included, so I assume this is one of the photos taken.*

Ferndale man drives into Fred Meyer entrance on Lakeway Drive.

By Drew Jelinek

John Rupp, a 27-year-old Ferndale man who drove his vehicle into the Lakeway Fred Meyer on Oct. 7, told police he had used a lot of drugs before the crash, according to a Bellingham Police Department report.  

Rupp also warned police that there was meth in his car— but the only drug Officer Samuel D’Amelio found during his search was marijuana. A search of Rupp’s clothes and personal belongings yielded aluminum foil strips with burn marks which, according to the police report, is consistent with heroin usage.

D’Amelio, who was across the street clearing another call, arrived at the scene of the crash minutes after being dispatched, at approximately 12:03 a.m. Upon entering Fred Meyer, D’Amelio overheard Rupp, who was on the phone with the police near the self-checkout area, mention that he was on LSD, D’Amelio’s report said; after hanging up, Rupp immediately admitted to driving while on LSD and meth, stating that it was mostly the meth.

D’Amelio reported that when he asked how much meth Rupp took, he responded “a lot”.

Rupp also added an assessment of his evening: “I definitely deserve to go to the (expletive) jail.”

The incident happened after the store had closed, and damages were repaired before the store had to open. Store manager Mike Miller says that it was unfortunate, but all that really matters is that no one got hurt.

“You can replace doors, but you can’t replace people,” Miller said. 

According to the same police report, Rupp was arrested with suspicion of driving under the influence and third-degree mischief. No injuries or long-term structural damages were reported by the Bellingham Police Department or Fred Meyer. 

After being checked out by the Bellingham Fire Department, Rupp was taken to PeaceHeath Saint Joseph Medical Center where, according to the police report, Rupp consented to a blood draw. In addition to LSD, meth and marijuana, Rupp admitted to using heroin, according to the police report, and was booked at the Whatcom County Jail at approximately 1:25 a.m. 

Rupp’s bail is set at $3,250, and as of Oct. 18, Rupp is being held at the Whatcom Interim Work Center, with a court date of Oct. 21 at the Bellingham Municipal Court.

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