Crime

Armed man breaks into homes, terrorizes neighborhood near Everson, sheriff’s office reports

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An armed man apparently suffering from mental health issues broke into three homes, attacked residents, and assaulted a sheriff’s deputy before he was arrested Wednesday morning near Everson, according to the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office.

Ryan Michael Deming, 39, broke into a home around 7:15 a.m. in the 6900 block of Plum Tree Place while armed with a blade – either a butcher’s knife or a machete – that he brandished in front of a woman and her dog, according to the sheriff’s office. The intruder told her he had the wrong home and left. The woman’s husband armed himself with a gun and chased Deming outside.

The intruder was gone by the time sheriff’s deputies arrived, but other calls started coming in from four other homes around the neighborhood: first, a man knocked on a door on Silves Court, then opened a screen door, but didn’t get in, said Lt. Kevin Hester. Minutes later, the man kicked in an apartment door in the 7000 block of Mission Road, and punched one of the people inside.

He ran to another home on Suchanon Drive, where he knocked on the door saying he was the police. A woman inside saw the patrol cars. So she answered the door, but it was Deming, who barged in and pushed her, Hester said.

Deming struck a deputy when he was cornered on a porch, Hester said, and a deputy shot him with a stun gun. Deming, a resident of Custer School Road, was arrested on suspicion of two counts of residential burglary, one count of third-degree assault, two counts of fourth-degree assault and resisting arrest.

Witnesses told deputies they did not know Deming. Only the first couple reported that he had a weapon. Several witnesses said Deming claimed to be “looking for his children.” Court records show his ex-wife and children have had protection orders against him in the past for alleged violence, but none in the past decade. He had called Everson police about his children this week, Hester said.

Deputies suspect he was having mental health issues Wednesday morning.

Deming’s car was found parked on Suchanon Drive and deputies saw what appeared to be a machete inside, Hester said. The sheriff’s office plans to get a search warrant for a more thorough examination of the car, he said.

Records show Deming has been convicted of two nonviolent felonies in the past decade, for trafficking stolen fishing gear in 2010, and for jumping bail in another case a few years earlier.

Caleb Hutton: 360-715-2276, @bhamcaleb

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