Crime

Bellingham woman arrested for allegedly driving getaway car in knifepoint robbery

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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.

A Bellingham woman was arrested Monday afternoon after she allegedly drove the getaway car for a man who robbed and assaulted another at knifepoint at a bus stop on Bakerview.

Ashley M. Fischer, 28, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree robbery, second-degree assault and third-degree theft. Her first appearance in Whatcom County Superior Court is scheduled for 3 p.m. Tuesday, according to court records.

Around 2:45 p.m. Monday, Bellingham police officers were called to the Fred Meyer on West Bakerview for the report of a robbery. A 34-year-old Bellingham man told officers he was waiting at a bus stop nearby when he was approached by an unknown man who “jumped” him, according to Bellingham Police Lt. Claudia Murphy.

The male suspect pulled a knife and the victim ran toward the east Fred Meyer entrance for help, Murphy said. As the victim was approaching the entrance, two vehicles approached him from opposite directions and trapped him between the cars, Murphy said. The victim had his phone, wallet, duffel bag and bus pass taken from him, Murphy said.

The victim identified one of the drivers who had him trapped as Fischer, Murphy said. The male suspect has not yet been identified, Murphy said.

The victim was then assaulted both inside and outside the cars, which several witnesses observed, she said. An update on how seriously the victim was assaulted was not immediately available Tuesday.

Witnesses took down license plates of the cars and an officer later located Fischer’s vehicle at the AMPM gas station in Fairhaven. It’s standard protocol for officers to have their service weapons out of holsters when conducting a high-risk stop, which they were at the time, Murphy said.

“There was initial information a gun may have been involved, so out of an abundance of caution and safety our officers would have their weapons unholstered or rifles slung,” Murphy said.

She said she was unable to say Tuesday how many officers were on scene at the AMPM.

Police spoke with Fischer, who later admitted to driving the car during the robbery, Murphy said.

She told the officer the victim owed her money and she attempted to get it, Murphy said.

Fischer was then arrested and booked into the Whatcom County Jail.

Reporter Denver Pratt joined The Bellingham Herald in 2017 and covers courts and criminal and social justice. She has worked in Montana, Florida and Virginia.
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