They hollered at a car, but the people inside were armed


Two Bellingham men are facing assault and weapons charges after they allegedly drew handguns and chased two people in the Roosevelt neighborhood Thursday night.

No one was injured in the 11 p.m. incident, said Bellingham Police Lt. Danette Beckley.

Justin Douglas Heathcock, 22, and Eli Allen Atiles, 21, were booked into Whatcom County Jail about 12:30 a.m. Friday on charges related to the brandishing incident. Both remained in custody Friday morning, according to jail records.

Heathcock was booked for first-degree assault and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Atiles was booked for first-degree assault, unlawful possession of a firearm, and obstructing a police officer. He also was booked for failure to appear in court on a previous charge of second-degree criminal trespass.

Beckley said two people were walking in the 2300 block of Texas Street when someone in a passing car yelled at them. She said the pair yelled back and the car stopped, its driver and passenger emerging with guns drawn.

“Victims said both the driver and the passenger exited the car,” Beckley said, “each of them with a handgun and pointed their guns at the victims, telling the victims to watch what they say.”

She said the suspects chased the two to a nearby convenience store, where they asked a clerk to call 911.

Police found the suspects’ car a short distance away on Woburn Street and ordered them to surrender, using “high-risk stop” tactics, Beckley said.

“Upon making the stop the driver was cooperative but the passenger was confrontational with officers and would not comply with their commands – kicking at the officers and being verbally abusive to them,” Beckley said.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty