Crime

Top crime stories of 2016: Ax attack leaves Bellingham man with skull fractures

Video: Man arrested after ax attack in Bellingham

Bellingham Police talk to a suspect, later identified as Patrick Marion Brown, in an ax attack reported in the 1000 block of N. Forest Street on Tuesday, Feb, 16, 2016 in Bellingham Wash. The victim was taken to St. Joseph hospital.
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Bellingham Police talk to a suspect, later identified as Patrick Marion Brown, in an ax attack reported in the 1000 block of N. Forest Street on Tuesday, Feb, 16, 2016 in Bellingham Wash. The victim was taken to St. Joseph hospital.

An Acme man attacked a couple with an ax in February at a Bellingham apartment.

Charging papers say Patrick Marion Brown, 25, had been having a mental breakdown, fueled by hallucinogens, marijuana, and no sleep, before he showed up at an apartment on North Forest Street around 1:50 p.m. Feb. 16, wearing a paintball mask.

He used a single-bit ax with a fiberglass handle to hack at the door and window to get inside to the residents, a man, 32, and a woman, 29, police said.

The couple knew Brown. They fought back, and the 32-year-old man suffered blows to the head from the ax. He suffered a fractured skull and other injuries, the charges say.

Brown ran from the scene but he was in custody minutes later on Garden Street. Officers recovered a meat clever, a steak knife, a roll of duct tape, and the ax.

Brown was charged with first-degree assault, second-degree assault, and first-degree burglary. A few weeks later his girlfriend, 20, reported Brown had held her at knifepoint in the hours before the North Forest assault. He was charged with second-degree assault in that incident.

He’s awaiting trial in both cases.

Caleb Hutton: 360-715-2276, @bhamcaleb

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