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He went for late-night tacos downtown and left needing stitches for his chin

McClatchy

Details remain unclear in an early Sunday assault outside a downtown taco truck that possibly involved weapons and led to a man needing stitches to his chin.

For starters, none of the suspects have been identified.

It all began just before 2:30 a.m. when Bellingham police officers responded to a call of a fight that may have involved a rubber mallet and a handgun, according to Lt. Mike Johnston.

Witnesses didn’t actually see any weapons, but told officers they “heard” the people fighting mention something about a rubber mallet and a handgun, Johnston said – officers did not find the people involved in the fight that morning.

Hours passed and the man who had been assaulted reported the incident to police at 4 p.m. Sunday. He said he was parked in the 1300 block of Railroad Avenue and went to a nearby food truck that sells tacos where he ordered three meals, Johnston said.

Then comes an unidentified man who picked up the victim’s order and walked away – the victim chased after the man to get his food back, Johnston said.

An argument ensued between the two and for some reason, another unidentified man walked toward the victim and asked if he was looking for a fight. So the victim tried to explain what had happened to his food, but the man who asked if the victim was looking for a fight, punched the victim in the head and jaw, Johnston said.

The assault continued as the victim was backing away. He then reached into the trunk of his car and grabbed (what the witnesses said they heard) a rubber mallet, Johnston said.

Then another man – not the food grabber and not the one who punched the victim – pointed a semiautomatic pistol at the man being assaulted (again, what witnesses heard), Johnston said.

That prompted the victim to yell at the supposed gun-wielding man that he was just trying to defend himself. The victim’s girlfriend chased away the the man who punched her boyfriend.

The victim then drove himself to the hospital where he received stitches to his chin, Johnston said.

The suspect who punched the victim is described as a Hispanic male in his 30s, 6 feet tall, about 300 pounds with a short buzz cut. He was wearing a plaid button-down shirt and jeans, Johnston said.

The suspect with the gun was described as a Hispanic male, smaller than the other suspect, and was wearing a white sporty shirt and jeans, Johnston said.

The man who grabbed the food was not involved in the assault, police said.

Information about incident can be directed to Bellingham Police Detective Caryn Queen at 360-778-8752.

Denver Pratt: 360-715-2236, @DenverPratt

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