Man damages 911 phone outside Bellingham Police Department


A 56-year-old man was arrested Sunday morning after he allegedly damaged the 911 phone outside the Bellingham Police Department, rendering the phone inoperable for a short time.

Walter Gerard Commodore was booked into Whatcom County Jail on suspicion of first-degree malicious mischief of more than $5,000.

Commodore allegedly slammed the phone, causing the handpiece to break in half, said Bellingham Police Lt. Danette Beckley. Commodore was identified as a suspect through video surveillance footage, Beckley said.

The phone is in the enclosed space outside the police department at 505 Grand Ave. and automatically connects to 911 dispatch when picked up. The area is open 24 hours so people have access to a 911 phone to have officers respond anytime, Beckley said.

Damage was estimated at about $300. The City of Bellingham owns the phone and its facilities department will replace it, Beckley said. She said she was unsure on the cost of replacing the phone or when the replacement will happen.

Beckley also did not know if drugs or alcohol were involved in the incident.

Officers were able to tape the handpiece together enough to get a dial tone, making the phone functional again, Beckley said.

Denver Pratt: 360-715-2236, @DenverPratt