When bean bags didn’t stop him, Bellingham police were forced to use a taser — twice

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The Bellingham Police Department enforces the law within Bellingham city limits.
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The Bellingham Police Department enforces the law within Bellingham city limits.

Bellingham police had to use bean bags and fire a taser twice to restrain a 29-year-old man who reportedly put his car in a ditch after hitting a guardrail in the Happy Valley neighborhood and then attempted to rob the AM/PM convenience store late Sunday.

Alexander Pieter James Devryer was booked into Whatcom County Jail early Monday, May 20, on suspicion of DUI, second-degree robbery and resisting arrest, according to jail records, and was released later that day on $5,000 bail.

According to information provided to The Bellingham Herald by Lt. Claudia Murphy, police were dispatched to the 3000 block of Old Fairhaven Parkway for the report of an attempted robbery.

Police learned that Devryer had entered the AM/PM uttering “open the register,” Murphy told The Herald. The clerk backed away from the counter to call 911, and Devryer climbed on the counter, but the clerk managed to keep the counter between himself and Devryer.

Devryer fled before responding officers quickly located him, Murphy said, but he did not comply with orders to get on the ground and advanced aggressively on one of the officers.

Police fired bean bags at Devryer’s legs, but they had no effect, Murphy said, so officers turned to using a taser, which did bring Devryer to the ground on the second attempt. Police restrained Devryer, who continued to fight once the effects of the taser wore off.

Further investigation found a heavily damaged car that was registered to Devryer off the road in the 2000 block of 30th Street, Murphy said, and witnesses reported seeing him exit the driver’s seat. Police also found a heavily damaged guardrail nearby that appeared to have been struck by Devryer’s car, Murphy said.

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.