Man, suspected of assaulting 6-year-old son, arrested following standoff at Ferndale motel

The Bellingham Herald

Police on Tuesday arrested a man accused of assaulting his 6-year-old son following a three-hour standoff at a motel, police said.

Bruce Allen Marbley, 32, was booked into the Whatcom County Jail around 8:45 p.m. Tuesday, according to jail records. He was booked on suspicion of second-degree assault of a child and violating a court order, Lt. Matt Huffman, a Ferndale Police Department spokesman, said in an email.

Marbley, Huffman said, was in the process of moving out of his room at the Super 8 Motel at 5788 Barrett Road on Monday. Marbley’s wife and her two sons came to help him move despite an active protection order, Huffman said.

At one point during the visit, Marbley grabbed one of the boys by his shirt collar, lifted him off the ground and held him in the air for several seconds, Huffman said. It caused bruising to the boy’s neck and made it difficult for him to breathe, Huffman added.

The assault charge Marbley is suspected of is a felony, Huffman said, because he allegedly violated the protection order.

Police received a report of the assault on Tuesday and went to talk to Marbley at the motel, Huffman said. It was unclear what time police went to the motel.

Marbley has a history of domestic violence assault and resisting arrest, according to Huffman and court records. An Army veteran who reportedly suffers from post-traumatic stress, Marbley had been drinking all day before officers arrived to arrest him at the motel, Huffman said.

Because of his record, officers requested backup from the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team. Officers and deputies first met with one of Marbley’s relatives in the lobby of the motel, who confirmed Marbley was in his room, Huffman said.

Marbley at first would not open the door when officers tried to contact him. But he eventually came out after about three hours and was arrested without further incident, Huffman said.

Kyle Mittan: 360-756-2803, @KyleMittan