A 23-year-old man was stabbed in the abdomen Wednesday afternoon, March 16, after he refused to give a robber his wallet in Cornwall Park, according to police.
Disc golfers found the man in a sunny open space on the grass south of the tennis courts, said Bellingham Police Lt. Bob Vander Yacht. The hilt of the knife was still sticking out of his belly when officers reached the scene. He had suffered slash wounds to his cheek and arm, too.
Police spoke with the man very briefly, due to his condition. He reported he’d been walking on the trail around 4 p.m. when a stranger came up to him from behind and demanded his wallet. When he didn’t hand it over, the assailant stabbed him.
The victim described the suspect as a 6-foot-2 Hispanic man with a medium build, with medium to short brown hair wearing a white T-shirt, blue jeans and a blue jacket or hoodie.
Police set up a perimeter at each trailhead on the edge of the park. In the meantime, Parkview Elementary School, at 3033 Coolidge Drive, and a nearby daycare center went into lockdown.
Within the hour, a witness told police they saw a man who matched that description riding a bike south to Cornwall Avenue.
No one had been arrested as of Thursday morning. Police have not found any witnesses of the actual stabbing.
On the sunny afternoon the park playground was bustling. Yet the crime scene — to the south of four tennis courts that are covered in evergreen branches — was relatively secluded. Officers did not cordon off the area with yellow tape, and people wandered within a few dozen yards with golf discs in hand.
The victim’s name hasn’t been released. The victim did not need surgery and is recovering.
Tips can be directed to the Bellingham Police Department at 360-778-8800 or cob.org/tips.