Crime

Bellingham police: Man zapped daughter’s boyfriend with cattle prod

Police have arrested a man who allegedly poked another man in the chest with an electric cattle prod to intimidate him from seeing his 25-year-old daughter.

Norman Gerstner was sleeping on a friend’s couch in the 1100 block of East Illinois Street on March 24, 2015, when he woke up around 10:30 a.m. to find Vincent Price Jones — 6-foot-4, 230 pounds — standing over him with an electric cattle prod after Jones barged in through the front door, said Bellingham Police Lt. Bob Vander Yacht.

Jones, 52, pushed the cattle prod — a pressure-activated shocking device used to move livestock — into Gerstner’s chest and shocked him, leaving red marks and causing “extreme pain,” Vander Yacht said. Jones then picked up a six-inch folding knife on the coffee table and slashed it in the air and told everyone in the room that if they called police he would hurt them.

Gerstner waited about 45 minutes and then called police to report what happened, but they could not find Jones. On Tuesday, May 5, more than a month later, Gerstner saw Jones walk into a Bellingham restaurant, and he called police again.

That day, police arrested Jones on suspicion of second-degree assault, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and felony harassment.

Vander Yacht said Jones was upset because Gerstner, 38, had been dating Jones’ daughter. He apparently told friends he wanted to hurt Gerstner, and at one point threatened to cut off a part of Gerstner’s body.

Jones, who police say lives in Ferndale, has no known criminal history. He remained in Whatcom County Jail on Wednesday in lieu of $50,000 bail.

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