BELLINGHAM - A Bellingham father must serve one year and one day in prison for stabbing his son in the arm with a steak knife in January.
It was moving day for William Gene McComas, 46. His teenage son, Clayton, offered to lug his belongings into a West Maplewood Avenue apartment on the morning of Jan. 6.
But William got into an argument with his girlfriend, who already lived at the apartment and had a no-contact order against him. So William and his son left for a while.
"He can't really deal with rejection that well," Clayton said in an interview this week. "I was just being a quiet observer."
They drove through town in a U-Haul truck; William had been drinking wine, according to charging documents filed in Whatcom County Superior Court. The truck, still heavy with loaded boxes, swerved all over the road, Clayton said. They argued about his driving and his generally reckless behavior into the afternoon. Later, back at the apartment, William yelled at Clayton and ordered him to get out. From a living room couch, Clayton told him he was waiting for his mom to come pick him up.
His father "snapped," according to court records. The elder McComas grabbed a steak knife from a drawer and rushed at Clayton, who responded by pulling out a Swiss Army knife to defend himself, according to the charges. (Two months earlier, Skagit County prosecutors had charged Clayton with waving knives and threatening to cut three people at his mother's home. That case is ongoing.)
William grabbed his son and stabbed him through the sleeve of his down jacket. Clayton wriggled free. He ran outside to call for help.
Two women in the home heard the assault but weren't in the room.
William told police his son "needed to be stabbed" because he pulled a knife on his father, according to prosecutors. He had a cut on his hand from grabbing Clayton's knife. Police discovered William had Clonazepam pills in his pockets, a marijuana bong on the kitchen table and - by William's admission - lithium in his bloodstream, according to the charges. And he was drunk on wine. He started banging his head against a wall, cracking the drywall on both sides.
William pleaded guilty last week to domestic violence assault in the second degree. He has past convictions for felony assault. Charges of felony domestic violence harassment, for allegedly threatening to shoot himself and his girlfriend in May 2012 were dropped as part of a plea deal.
It took about two months for the wound in Clayton's arm to heal, he said Monday.
"But I'm not going to forgive my dad anytime soon."
The length of McComas' prison sentence was corrected March 14, 2013.