Bellingham Police on Wednesday arrested a 38-year-old transient man who they believe is responsible for approximately $5,000 worth of damage underneath an Interstate 5 overpass.
Kyle Alan Hershey was booked into Whatcom County Jail on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance, first-degree malicious mischief, resisting arrest and an outstanding third-degree malicious mischief warrant.
According to Lt. Claudia Murphy, the Washington State Department of Transportation became aware of severe erosion around the creek bed under the I-5 overpass in the 1100 block of Iowa Street. Police investigated and found that Hershey reportedly had been living under the overpass and was using a bucket to remove sand and water from around overpass support beams.
Hershey had been contacted in the past and told not to remove the sand and water, Murphy said, and he had been asked to leave the area. But he allegedly continued his digging and would run when officers attempted to speak with him.
When police contacted him again, Hershey reportedly refused officers’ instructions for a time, then came out of a tight crawlspace and was placed under arrest. While he was being searched, Murphy said, methamphetamine was found in his possession.
The Bellingham Public Works Department estimated the damage to be $5,000, and WSDOT will be conducting a separate assessment to determine damage to the property.