Crime

Whatcom Sheriff arrests the 3rd suspect in last week’s alleged home-invasion robbery

Here’s what the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office does

The Whatcom County Sheriff's Office enforces the law in the unincorporated areas of Whatcom County as well as on the county's waterways.
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The Whatcom County Sheriff's Office enforces the law in the unincorporated areas of Whatcom County as well as on the county's waterways.

All three suspects in last week’s home-invasion style robbery near Ferndale that hospitalized one victim for multiple cuts and stab wounds are in Whatcom County Jail.

The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office booked Steven Dale Scharton, 37, into jail on Tuesday, July 9, on suspicion of first-degree assault, first-degree robbery and first-degree burglary.

According to information provided to The Bellingham Herald by Chief Deputy Kevin Hester, Scharton called 911 Tuesday night and said he wanted to turn himself in. Deputies from the Criminal Interdiction Team met with Scharton, and he was taken into custody without incident.

Danielle Nicole Coakley, 34, was booked into jail Saturday, July 6, on suspicion of first-degree assault, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and fourth-degree assault. Jail records show she is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Coakley was arrested in Snohomish County on Saturday by the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force, after Hester told The Herald a combination of tips and tracking led detectives to find her there. She was transferred to Whatcom County detectives.

The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office booked Antini Joseph Saselli, 31 of Bellingham, into jail on Thursday, July 4, on suspicion of first-degree burglary, first-degree assault and first-degree attempted robbery, after he was found Wednesday evening walking near Lynden, reportedly disoriented and with a cut on his hand suffered during the robbery. Jail records show he is being held in lieu of $250,000 bail.

According to a sheriff’s office press release Friday, July 5, announcing Saselli’s arrest and the search for Coakley and Scharton, deputies, detectives and crime scene investigators, responded Wednesday to the 6100 block of Aldrich Road after it was reported that three people had entered a home, assaulted two occupants — a man and a woman — and fled the area.

An investigation into the incident revealed that the two victims were guests sleeping in a spare room of the home, and that the resident of the house had left at approximately 7 a.m., according to the release. Video surveillance showed the resident talked to a woman in a white Volkswagen sedan as he left the driveway, and the Volkswagen continued down the driveway.

According to Whatcom County Superior Court records, Coakley had called the resident to ask if the two victims were there, and he said “yes.” When they met in the driveway, Coakley also asked if she could go talk to the two victims, and the resident granted permission.

Coakley gave the resident $10 to purchase cigarettes and later texted and asked him to buy some duct tape, court records state. The resident reportedly responded “Really?” and did not buy the tape.

Shortly after 7 a.m., Saselli, Scharton and Coakley entered the room where the two victims were sleeping, according to the release. Saseli and Scharton were wearing hoods over their faces, exposing only their eyes, and both men reportedly were carrying knives. Coakley allegedly was carrying a chrome wrench.

Coakley asked the victims, “Where’s my stuff?” the release stated, and one of the male suspects said, “Where’s your money?”

Saselli and Scharton then reportedly jumped on the bed and attacked the male victim. He fought back, the release stated, and was able to disarm one of the suspects but suffered stab and cut wounds to his hand and leg during the struggle.

Saselli also suffered a “severe cut” to one of his hands, according to the release, before the suspects fled.

According to court documents, the male victim was transported to the hospital after receiving a significant cut to his right hand that may have included tendon damage and an 8-inch laceration on his right leg that required stitches. The female victim did not receive any significant injuries, but Coakley reported struck her with her hand hard enough to knock off her glasses.

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.
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