Bellingham man suspected of threatening 3 women at gunpoint tased and arrested

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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 32-year-old Bellingham man reportedly smashed a car window with a rifle before pointing the gun and threatening to kill three women. Police used a Taser to subdue and arrest him, according to police reports.

Joseph Alden Bruck was booked into Whatcom County Jail on Friday, Aug. 23, on suspicion of three counts of first-degree assault and one each of fourth-degree assault and third-degree malicious mischief. Jail records show he was released Tuesday, Aug. 27, on $25,000 bail, and he is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 6 in Whatcom County Superior Court.

According to information provided to The Bellingham Herald by Lt. Claudia Murphy, officers were called at 3:29 p.m. Friday to the 4000 block of Home Road for the report that a vehicle at an apartment complex had been broken into. Two other women reportedly saw Bruck smash the driver’s side window of her car after the female victim had parked and briefly gone into an apartment.

Bruck went back into his apartment, Murphy said, but his dog got loose and ran into the parking lot and sat down near one of the people who witnessed Bruck smash the window. Bruck came running out of his apartment to retrieve the dog and reportedly pushed one of the witnesses when she tried to pet the dog.

Bruck said he was going to punch the two women, before he stepped back into his apartment, Murphy said, but returned with a rifle, pointed it at all three women and said, “something to the to the effect of you’re all gone.”

Bruck then reportedly went back into the apartment.

When officers arrived and called Bruck out, he stepped on the balcony, Murphy said. He was told to come down, but reportedly refused, going back into the apartment instead.

Officers approached the apartment, Murphy said, and Bruck again came outside and ignored their commands, so they used a Taser to help subdue him and place him under arrest.

Per standard procedure, Murphy said Bruck was checked out by Bellingham Fire medics before being taken to jail.

The Bellingham Police Department’s BearCat armored truck also was called to the scene, Murphy said, but officers were able to arrest Bruck before it arrived.

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.