He kicked and punched a woman he knew. He fled. Police later found him in a bathroom


A 49-year-old Whatcom County man has been arrested for allegedly punching and kicking a woman who was an acquaintance, Bellingham Police Lt. Danette Beckley said Thursday.

The assault occurred on the 1700 block of Kentucky Street about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday. The woman suffered a cut to the back of her head, bruising on her left arm and had sore ribs, Beckley said.

The woman was taken to St. Joseph hospital for treatment.

A knife was reportedly displayed during the assault, Beckley said.

The man, who had a history of being violent when contacted by law enforcement, ran from the scene. He was later found after police received a tip that he would be at a restaurant on the 1900 block of King Street at a certain time.

Police didn’t name the restaurant, but said officers were able to clear the area while the man was in the restroom.

He refused to obey their orders when he came out of the restroom, Beckley said, and police struck him in the leg with what was described as a “less lethal drag-stabilized flexible baton.”

The suspect, Wilford Howard Sturgeon, was booked into Whatcom County Jail on suspicion of felony assault at 4:28 p.m. on Wednesday.

He also has a warrant for arson, police said.

Kie Relyea: 360-715-2234, @kierelyea