Man attacked for alleged sexual orientation, police say


Bellingham Police are investigating an attack early Saturday that authorities have labeled a hate crime.

A 23-year-old man was shoved to the ground about 2 a.m. Saturday, said police Lt. Danette Beckley. The attack occurred in the 1200 block of Railroad Avenue, between Holly and Chestnut streets.

“(The) suspect made derogatory statements regarding the victim’s assumed sexual preference prior to assaulting him, which triggers a suspected bias incident investigation for our department,” Beckley said.

It was the first hate crime reported to Bellingham Police this year, she said.

Firefighters treated the man at the scene for a cut and a bump to his head. No weapon was used, Beckley said.

No arrest has been made as of Monday and a description of the suspect has not been provided.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty