Potential custody dispute started in California, but led to arrest in Bellingham


A California man was arrested early Monday in the Roosevelt neighborhood after police say he was involved in a child custody dispute and allegedly brought his 6-year-old daughter to Washington from California.

Darryll A. Reese, 25, of Oakland, was arrested on suspicion of fugitive from justice warrants. Police in Fremont, Calif., had a probable cause warrant out for Reese’s arrest, and officials said Monday they’re still determining whether Reese will be brought back to California to face charges.

Reese is the father of the 6-year-old girl, and it appears there was a parental dispute over who should have custody of the girl, Detective Michael Gebhardt, with Fremont Police, said. The mother reported the girl left with her father Saturday and they hadn’t been seen since, Gebhardt said.

Fremont Police believed Reese was traveling with his 24-year-old girlfriend. One of them may have family in the Whatcom County area, Gebhardt said.

Shortly after midnight Monday, the Washington State Patrol - which was was assisting Fremont Police - requested help from Bellingham Police in locating Reese. He was thought to be at a home in the 1700 block of Texas Street, according to Lt. Danette Beckley with Bellingham Police.

Around 8:30 a.m. Monday, Bellingham Police, SWAT and a Special Investigation Unit went to the Texas Street residence where they spoke with Reese outside, where they arrested him without incident, Beckley said.

The 6-year-old girl was safe and was in the custody of Child Protective Services while waiting for her mother to arrive from California, Beckley said.

“Bellingham Police appreciate the professionalism and the cooperation of all of those involving in this situation. Working together and sharing information helped bring this to a safe resolution,” Beckley said.

Denver Pratt: 360-715-2236, @DenverPratt