Brother of Bellingham Police officer charged in assault appears in court
Jagmeet Singh Dhaliwal, the brother of a Bellingham police officer accused – along with his brother – of assaulting two men outside a Blaine business, surrendered to authorities Monday.
Dhaliwal, 37, was booked into Whatcom County Jail on suspicion of complicity to commit second-degree assault, fourth-degree assault and complicity to commit felony harassment. He turned himself in accompanied by his attorney Monday morning – Dhaliwal was out of the area last week for work as a long-haul truck driver.
Whatcom County Superior Court Commissioner Alfred Heydrich found probable cause Monday afternoon to charge Dhaliwal, and signed an anti-harassment order on behalf of the two alleged victims.
Bellingham police officer Sukhdev Dhaliwal, Jagmeet’s brother, was arrested Oct. 18 on suspicion of second-degree assault, felony harassment and fourth-degree assault, according to Whatcom County Superior Court records. Judge Charles Snyder found probable cause Oct. 19 to charge 31-year-old Sukhdev Dhaliwal.
At Jagmeet Dhaliwal’s Monday hearing, defense attorney Adrian Madrone said there was significantly more to the story to tell on behalf of the brothers, but that it would come at a later time.
“As I explained to Mr. (Jagmeet) Dhaliwal, for purposes of a first appearance hearing and reading for probable cause, this is not really our opportunity to tell his side of the story. We definitely look forward to getting that opportunity later in the process,” Madrone said.
A visiting prosecutor from Skagit County did not argue for bail for Jagmeet Dhaliwal and he was released Monday on his own recognizance.
Jagmeet Dhaliwal will also be allowed to leave the county and state for work purposes only, so long as he keeps his attorney and the prosecutor aware of his travels. Madrone said Jagmeet Dhaliwal was not a potential flight risk, citing he turned himself in once he got home after being away for work.
Both cases will likely be transferred to Skagit County, court and law enforcement officials said. The transfer is supposed to take place some time this week and formal charges are expected to be filed shortly after, officials said.
Sukhdev Dhaliwal, who was also a former Whatcom County Jail deputy for roughly four years, was required to surrender his department-issued pistol and was put on paid administrative leave. He has been a Bellingham police officer since Oct. 1, 2015. He has no prior criminal record, except for a driving offense from several years ago, according to court records.
On Friday afternoon, Mayor Kelli Linville and the Bellingham Police Department released a very brief joint statement regarding the incident and Sukhdev Dhaliwal’s arrest.
A representative from the Bellingham Police Guild has not returned an email message seeking comment.
On Oct. 17, Sukhdev Dhaliwal and his brother, Jagmeet, went to meet two men, ages 19 and 20, in Blaine at one of the men’s work. When the brothers arrived around 8:13 p.m., they grabbed and punched the 19-year-old man outside the business, according to court records.
Sukhdev and Jagmeet Dhaliwal went inside where they punched the 20-year-old man in the face. Sukhdev Dhaliwal held the 20-year-old down and punched him in the face and told him he would kill him, according to court papers. Sukhdev Dhaliwal then got off and yelled at the man about dating his sister, while Jagmeet Dhaliwal kicked him in the face, according to court records.
The fight was stopped by the 19-year-old and his boss, and the brothers left around 8:35 p.m.
The 20-year-old suffered a fracture near his eye, as well as severe bruising and redness around his neck, according to court documents.
Sukhdev Dhaliwal was booked into the Skagit County jail at 5:10 p.m. Oct. 18. He was released at 5 p.m. the following day on his own recognizance.