A man has been charged with breaking into a Bellingham apartment, holding a tenant at knifepoint for 2 ½ hours, and calling police from inside a bank to turn himself in around 1 a.m.
On the night of Monday, Jan. 11, a man heard a knock on the door of his studio apartment at 607 E. Holly St.
The tenant, 68, answered the knock around 9:30 p.m. to find a stranger — a clean-shaven white man, about 6 foot, with very short brown hair — who shoved the door wide open, according to charging papers filed late Wednesday.
Police later identified the suspect as Kolya Daughs, 26, an eight-time felon released from prison in fall.
Hours later the victim gave this story to police: Daughs punched the man in the face as he forced his way in, leaving him with a bloody nose and swollen lips. Then he went to the kitchen counter and grabbed a metal flashlight and a kitchen knife with a 5-inch blade. Daughs swung the flashlight at the tenant, but missed. Daughs pointed the knife at the man and ordered him to sit down. The tenant complied.
The tenant remained there, “on the edge of his bed,” for the next 2 ½ hours, according to the charges. Daughs held the knife within an inch of the man’s neck, telling him he’d stab him if he didn’t keep quiet. Daughs threw the man to the ground and put a pillowcase over his head. He opened up the tenant’s wallet and took $595 cash, according to charges.
Sometime around midnight, the stranger put down the knife and flashlight, and started walking toward the bathroom. The tenant made a break for the door. Daughs came after him, and they scuffled, according to the charges. The intruder eventually fled toward East Holly Street.
The man called for police at 11:54 p.m. He gave them a description of the suspect: medium build, blue jeans, dark hoodie.
About a half-hour later dispatch got another call. This one came from a teller line at Key Bank at 1000 Lakeway Drive. A man said he’d robbed the bank.
“I’m the bad guy,” he said, according to the charges. “I’m done with life.”
Police arrived to find the glass of the front door had been broken, with a large rock on the ground among the shattered glass. The man inside told police to turn on their blue and red lights, to prove they were cops. Once they did, Daughs came outside. He said he’d taken “meth” earlier, according to the charges.
Officers noticed that he matched the suspect description from the earlier break-in, which was about a half-mile west of the bank. Police drove the tenant to the scene, and he affirmed that Daughs was the man who attacked him.
County prosecutors charged Daughs with burglary in the first degree, assault in the second degree, robbery in the first degree, unlawful imprisonment for the attack on the man; and burglary in the second degree for breaking into the bank.
Daughs has spent much of his adult life in and out of jail. Since 2008 he has been convicted twice of felony possession of a controlled substance; twice of assault in the fourth degree; five times of violating a no-contact order; bail jumping; felony harassment for threatening to choke, cut, stab, shoot and kill a woman; possession of a stolen vehicle; misdemeanor malicious mischief; and misdemeanor theft.
Most recently, in February 2015, a Whatcom County sheriff’s sergeant tried to pull over Daughs at Slater and Haxton roads, near the Silver Reef Casino, because his car had a defective brake light.
The car would not pull over, and the sergeant chased it east on Slater in the dark, at 12:40 a.m., at speeds exceeding 90 mph. The car got away, and the sergeant went back to the casino, looked at security footage, and recognized the driver as Daughs.
A few hours later, around 4 a.m., she spotted the same car on Birch Bay-Lynden Road, near Daughs’ old address. She chased the car at 70 mph in a 30 mph zone, then flicked out her emergency lights and tailed the car at a distance for about eight miles. The car hit spike strips that deputies set up at Vista Drive and Grandview Road, but kept going until a sheriff’s deputy used a PIT maneuver — tapping a front corner of his patrol car into a back corner of Daughs’ car — to make the car spin out.
Daughs was arrested. He admitted to being the driver earlier on Slater. Deputies learned his license had been suspended in the third degree. Daughs served a 14-month sentence for two counts of attempting to elude a pursuing vehicle. He was sentenced in October, given credit for time served and presumably good behavior, and released in November.
There was a Department of Corrections warrant out for his arrest when he was arrested Tuesday. Superior Court Commissioner Leon Henley set bail this week at $500,000.