Crime

Police: Alleged child rapist attacks Everson man with hammer

A man already accused of child rape hit another man over the head with a hammer Saturday, Jan. 31, according to Everson police.

Leon Emory Pannell Jr., 39, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree assault Saturday after he allegedly caused multiple head injuries to the other man during an altercation. Pannell was facing charges in Whatcom County Superior Court for three counts child rape, tampering with a witness and harassment.

The dispute occurred on the 600 block of Mead Avenue in Everson. The two men had been fighting about a piece of property when Pannell allegedly attacked the other man with an object, Police Chief Dan MacPhee said.

The man called police around 7 p.m. and said his neighbor had struck him with what he thought was a metal pipe.

Police found the man bleeding from his face and head outside of his home, MacPhee said. Police then searched the property and found a hammer that they believe was used by Pannell during the altercation.

The man was sent to St. Joseph hospital for treatment of blunt force trauma to the head. Police have not released his name. The two men knew each other prior to the dispute, MacPhee said.

Pannell was scheduled for jury trial on Jan. 20 for allegedly raping three children, including a 6-month-old baby, according to charging papers. He failed to appear for trial, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

He remained in Whatcom County Jail on Monday in lieu of $100,000 bail.

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