What is sexual violence?
Bellingham police arrested a 33-year-old man they suspect raped a woman he met last week in downtown Bellingham while they were in his car. He also reportedly resisted arrest, as two officers sustained minor injuries.
Ryan Matthew Alexander was booked into Whatcom County Jail on Monday, Aug. 26, on suspicion of third-degree rape, unlawful imprisonment, felony harassment and resisting arrest.
According to information provided to The Bellingham Herald by Lt. Claudia Murphy, Alexander and his victim met in downtown Bellingham on Aug. 21 and spent some time together, going for coffee, grabbing some food, driving around, listening to music and drinking some vodka.
While in the car, the victim and Alexander got into an argument, Murphy said, and Alexander told her she needed to drink more. She refused.
Alexander then told the victim she needed to perform a sex act on him or he would kill her, Murphy said, before he raped her.
Murphy said the victim tried to get out of the car, but Alexander locked the doors and refused to open them until the victim threatened to break a window.
Once out of the car, the victim immediately called 911 and sought medical attention at the hospital, Murphy said.
Police located Alexander’s car and impounded it for evidence.
On Monday, Alexander came to the police station to inquire about his car, and as he was speaking to detectives in the lobby, they attempted to place him under arrest.
Alexander refused to comply, Murphy said, pulling away. Alexander was taken to the ground but reportedly continued to resist until other officers arrived to help put him in handcuffs.
Medics were called to check Alexander and cleared him to be booked into jail, Murphy said, while two officers sustained minor injuries during the struggle.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence or sexual assault, you can contact the following local resources for free, confidential support:
▪ Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Services: 24-hour Help Line: 360-715-1563, Email: email@example.com.
▪ Lummi Victims of Crime: 360-312-2015.
▪ Bellingham Police: You can call anonymously at 360-778-8611, or go online at cob.org/tips.