A Bellingham teenager who ambushed his parents with a metal baton must spend five years in prison, a judge ruled this week.
A few days before the attack, Skyler Dean Steagall, 18, got into an argument that turned violent around 7 p.m. July 8, at his father’s house in the 2400 block of Nevada Street, according to court records.
Steagall punched his father, 57, in the nose and on the side of the head, and held his father in a headlock on the floor and kept punching, according to charging papers.
Steagall fled with his girlfriend before police could reach the home, leaving behind bloody footprints on the floor. There was already a no-contact order in place between the father and son.
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Steagall remained at large for the next four days, until July 12. His parents were taking their dog out to the backyard around 4 o’clock that afternoon when one of Steagall’s friends, 17, came up to them and caught their attention, according to charging papers.
Then Steagall rushed out from behind a shed and hit his father in the head with a metal pipe — a knock-off of an ASP, a collapsible baton often carried by police. He hit his mother, 48, in the thigh and foot with the same weapon. She managed to call 9-1-1 as the attacker ran off.
A police dog tracked Steagall’s scent about a mile northeast to the 3100 block of Racine Street, where he was arrested on suspicion of felony assault.
The father’s injuries were serious but not life-threatening.
At the time, Bellingham Police Sgt. Mike Scanlon said there didn’t appear to be a specific motive for the attack, although Steagall “blames his dad for a lot of things that came about in his life.”
Skyler Steagall had one mark on his criminal record as an adult, a misdemeanor violating a no-contact order in June. Steagall turned 18 in early December 2014.
He pleaded guilty Wednesday, Oct. 14, to four domestic-violence crimes: two counts of assault in the second degree and two counts of felony violation of a no-contact order.
Superior Court Judge Raquel Montoya-Lewis sentenced him to five years in prison this week, at the high end of the range suggested by state law. His guilty plea paperwork states he must be evaluated in prison for possible mental health and drug abuse problems.