Bellingham police use pepperballs to chase naked man from NXNW apartment window
Bellingham Police had to use pepperballs to defuse a situation with a man they believe was suffering from a medical or mental crisis Saturday afternoon at the NXNW Student Housing complex.
Video captured and posted to the Twitter account @jess_Y_esiki shows some of the incident between the man, who was naked at the time, and police. Social media soon was buzzing with theories on what happened.
“Most of the information on the Twitter feed is inaccurate and speculation,” Bellingham Police Lt. Claudia Murphy said. “This individual was having a medical/mental crisis and was sans clothing in his own apartment.”
Murphy said the man apparently knocked the screen out of a second-story apartment window and was seen walking in front of the window. According to the report, the man took hold of his genitals at one point, but not for sexual gratification or to offend.
Murphy said officers attempted to communicate with the man to get him to come out of the apartment for his own safety and get medical attention.
“When all verbal efforts did not achieve the desired result, the pepperball delivery system was deployed,” Murphy said. “This delivered pepperballs into the apartment to release an irritant powder in order to encourage the young man to exit.”
Murphy said the pepperballs quieted the man, but he did not come out.
“After several minutes, he came to the window again and was agitated,” Murphy said. “Officers felt like he was a danger by hanging out the window, so several pepperballs were delivered directly at his torso to encourage him to step back from the window. “
Murphy said bruises were the only reported injury, and he was taken to the hospital to care for his psychological welfare.