He wanted a single beer, but now he's facing felony charges


A Bellingham man is facing felony robbery and assault charges for injuring a clerk during a theft at a Sehome neighborhood gas station, police said.

Bellingham Police Lt. Don Almer said the woman was hurt when a customer hit her in the head with a plastic pricing device after she refused to sell him a single can of beer about 7:30 a.m. Saturday at the gas station in the 100 block of Samish Way.

Donald Goessman, 53, who is homeless, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree robbery and second-degree assault for hitting the clerk so hard that she required stitches just above her eye, Almer said.

Firefighters took her to St. Joseph hospital for treatment, Almer said.

Almer said a customer who was using the restroom came out when he heard yelling and saw Goessman leave.

"According to the clerk, Goessman left the business still holding the price-checker tool, so she followed him out and struck him a couple times with (a) broom," Almer said. "Goessman dropped the price-checker tool and walked off."

Police found Goessman nearby and booked him into Whatcom County Jail later Saturday morning. He remained in custody Monday.

Goessman wasn't injured when the clerk hit him, Almer said.

Beer isn't sold by the single can at the store, he said.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty