BELLINGHAM - A fleeing shoplifter at the Bellingham Kmart grabbed a security guard by the hair and pulled so hard that he ripped hairs from her scalp Thursday evening, Nov. 15, before he whipped out a knife and tried to stab her, according to police.
Kevin Wade Studer, 51, grabbed hand tools and accessories, worth about $33, from the shelves of the store at 1001 E. Sunset Drive. He stuffed the goods into his clothes, then tried to walk outside without paying at 7:49 p.m., said Bellingham police spokesman Mark Young.
A security guard tried to stop him. But Studer grabbed her by the hair, flashed a folding knife and tried to stab her in the stomach, Young said. He missed, but tore a few strands of hair from the woman's scalp.
The suspect ran to his beige 1995 Nissan Pathfinder. As he drove off, he swerved the SUV at another security guard who had chased him into the parking lot, Young said.
A few minutes later police found the Pathfinder, still warm, parked outside Home Depot. Officers combed the aisles and found Studer standing in the paint section, Young said. They recovered three knives he had on him: a double-edged dagger, a small kitchen knife and a Smith & Wesson folding knife with a serrated edge.
Studer was booked into Whatcom County Jail on suspicion of first-degree robbery, first-degree assault, third-degree theft and illegal possession of a dangerous weapon, the dagger.
In 2011, Studer was sentenced to three months in jail after he called police and told them a former housemate was in his Everson home, refusing to leave and talking incessantly on the phone. He told the dispatcher that if the cops didn't show up, he'd kill him, according to court records. Studer took out a 16-gauge shotgun and pressed the muzzle against the man's belly.
"Expecting it to shoot," as he later told police, he pulled the trigger. It didn't fire. But Studer was convicted of second-degree assault. As part of his sentence, he had to give up his guns.
He has no other felony convictions in Washington.