Bellingham man facing attempted murder charge after allegedly beating, choking girlfriend

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJune 12, 2014 

BELLINGHAM - A man was arrested on suspicion of second-degree attempted murder Wednesday, June 11, after he allegedly beat and choked his girlfriend until she lost consciousness, according to the Bellingham Police Department.

Brent J. Bruwelheide, 33, allegedly pinned his girlfriend to the floor, punched her in the face and torso and tried to strangle her June 8 in the home they share in the 3600 block of Cherrywood Avenue.

He allegedly used his hands to choke her at first, then used a phone charging cord while he yelled at her to die, according to police. The woman lost consciousness as a result.

The woman, 36, told officers the attack began after Bruwelheide had become angry that she didn't give him a kiss goodnight. She said he accused her of being unfaithful, knocked her to the floor and began beating her.

Police arrested Bruwelheide at the couple's Cherrywood home on Wednesday. He was booked into Whatcom County Jail on suspicion of second-degree attempted murder, domestic violence.

Anyone with information about the incident can call Detective Jana Bouzek at 360-778-8826.

Bruwelheide's criminal history includes two convictions for felony assaults in the past 10 years.

In 2007, Bruwelheide was convicted of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon after he attacked two men in Acme. He walked up and punched one man in the face, then walked away and grabbed a small ax and threw it at the men from about 15 feet away, missing them by a few feet. He then hit the other man in the head with a rock and kicked him in the ribs while the man was on the ground, according to court documents.

In 2009, Bruwelheide was convicted of third-degree assault when he attacked his uncle in Sedro-Woolley. Bruwelheide punched his uncle in the face repeatedly with keys in his hand, following his uncle as he crawled through the house to try to get away, according to court documents filed in Skagit County. When a woman tried to pull Bruwelheide off his uncle, he twisted her arm and threw her into a dresser. He then went into the kitchen and picked up two knives, threatening to kill everyone in the house.

In 2005, he pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault after grabbing his then-girlfriend by the throat and later threatening to kill her if she didn't tell police that the incident was her fault. The woman told police that he had threatened her before and she believed he would kill her if she went to police, according to court records.

Reach Zoe Fraley at zoe.fraley@bellinghamherald.com or 360-756-2803. Read the Dispatcher Blog at bellinghamherald.com/dispatcher-blog or get updates on Twitter at @bhamcrime.

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