A wine bottle was the weapon of choice as an employee at the Sehome Haggen was attacked Wednesday afternoon before a bystander tackled the assailant.
The employee asked Zachary A. Belcaster to leave the store at 210 36th St. in Bellingham at around 10:30 a.m., according to an email from Bellingham Police Lt. Danette Beckley, after the employee witnessed "abnormal behavior" from Belcaster, including removing items from store shelves and leaving them in the middle of aisles.
Belcaster returned to the store at about 1 p.m. and found the employee in the bakery. Witness and victim reports to police said Belcaster immediately picked up a wine bottle from a display shelf and charged, allegedly swinging the bottle and missing the employee's head.
The employee stepped away, according to reports, and Belcaster threw the bottle in their direction. It again missed and shattered at the employee’s feet. A bystander then tackled Belcaster.
Belcaster admitted to the events, according to reports, and told police he was upset that he had been asked to leave the store and hoped to go to jail. He was arrested for second-degree assault and residential burglary and remained in Whatcom County Jail Thursday morning.