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Four-wheeler set ablaze as victim strikes back with machete

McClatchy

Two Whatcom County residents face arson and other charges and a third suspect is hospitalized in connection with a fight late Friday at a home north of Kendall.

Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo said deputies were called to a “fight in progress” about 11:30 p.m. near a vehicle in the 8400 block of Golden Valley Drive. Elfo said he wasn’t certain about the type of vehicle, describing it only as a “four-wheeler.”

Elfo said the two people in the four-wheeler, a man and a woman, were attacked by Kristie Lee Baker, 30, and a man who hasn’t been named because he’s not in custody but is hospitalized for treatment of injuries suffered in the incident. Elfo said Baker and the unnamed suspect beat the victims with their fists and a large Maglite flashlight, causing “serious facial and other injuries.”

He said a woman, Sarah Sturgeon, 23, joined the attack on the four-wheeler’s occupants.

“The three suspects followed the victims while armed with a metal chain and a flashlight and commenced to their property breaking out the windows ... ,” Elfo said in an email. “The male victim, apparently acting in self-defense, armed himself with a machete. He was able to strike the male suspect on the hand with the machete causing significant injury that required hospitalization.”

Elfo said the suspects removed the gas cap of the four-wheeler, stuffed a shirt inside and set it ablaze. The vehicle was destroyed.

What started the incident remains unclear.

Baker and Sturgeon were arrested early Saturday on suspicion of first-degree arson, second-degree assault, and second- and third-degree malicious mischief. They remained in Whatcom County Jail on Monday.

The two occupants of the four-wheeler and the suspect who suffered the machete wounds were taken in separate ambulances to St. Joseph hospital. No information was available about their injuries.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty

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