Police have released a photo of a man they say is wanted for questioning in connection with a downtown Bellingham attack last weekend authorities are calling a hate crime.
In the photo, which was posted on the Bellingham Police Department’s Facebook page, a man leans casually against a long table or bar where clear glasses of liquid are visible.
He’s dressed in dark pants and a dark long-sleeved or three-quarter-sleeved T-shirt with a three-button placket on the collar and has has a full sleeve of tattoos on his right forearm.
Police didn’t say where the image was obtained, but it appears to have been taken from a surveillance camera.
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“This case has been labeled a hate crime (due to the language used by the suspect prior to the assault). Any additional information or witness accounts would be helpful with this investigation. If you have any information, please contact our tip line at 360-778-8611 or via our web page at www.cob.org/tips,” police said on Facebook.
Lt. Danette Beckley said the incident occurred about 2 a.m. Saturday when a 23-year-old man was shoved to the ground in the 1200 block of Railroad Avenue, between Holly and Chestnut streets.
“(The) suspect made derogatory statements regarding the victim’s assumed sexual preference prior to assaulting him, which triggers a suspected bias incident investigation for our department,” Beckley said Monday.
It was the first hate crime reported to Bellingham Police this year, she said.
Firefighters treated the man at the scene for a cut and a bump to his head. No weapon was used, Beckley said.
An arrest has not been made, and no other information was released Wednesday.