BELLINGHAM - A man wearing a machete at his side was arrested on suspicion of threatening to kill and chop up an elderly woman and her adult niece in a confrontation at the Samish Way Wendy's Saturday afternoon, Jan. 18, according to police.
The incident started when the 78-year-old woman jiggled the door handle of the women's restroom inside the fast food restaurant around 3 p.m. Saturday. Andrew J. Hall, a transient man living in Bellingham who was inside the restroom, opened the door, yelled that he was going to kill her, and stepped outside of the restaurant, Bellingham Police Sgt. Ken Brown said.
Once outside, Hall started to yell at an elderly man sitting in a parked car for "looking at him," Brown said. That man happened to be the elderly woman's husband.
The couple's niece, 44, witnessed Hall yelling at her uncle and told him to stop. While reaching for a sheath at his side, Hall then threatened to kill the woman and cut her up, but never pulled out the machete, Brown said. The frightened woman ran inside.
Hall continued to shout while walking northbound on Samish Way before police arrived and arrested him a few minutes later. Police booked him into Whatcom County Jail on suspicion of felony harassment for threats to kill, Brown said.
"Officers on scene couldn't determine whether he was under the influence, but he did appear to have something mental going on," Brown said. "Whether it was organic mental health problems or chemically induced, they don't know, but he wasn't in control."