Crime

Bellingham man sent to jail after hitting man with car after argument over a puppy

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.

A Bellingham man will spend several months in jail for hitting another man with a car multiple times after the pair got into an argument about the treatment of a puppy.

Keoni Mae Mae Wilson, 20, was sentenced in Whatcom County Superior Court Thursday, Aug. 30, to five months in jail for third-degree assault and bail jumping. He was originally charged with second-degree assault, harassment and two counts of bail jumping, according to court records.

Wilson’s charges were reduced as part of a plea deal.

“I think it’s a sentence that reflects the allegations of the crime. He was facing significantly more time and the prosecutor offered a good plea agreement,” Wilson’s defense attorney Stephen Jackson said.

On Jan. 8, Whatcom County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the Arco AM/PM gas station on Slater Road for the report of an assault. A man told deputies that he saw another man, later identified as Wilson, throw a puppy off his lap, over his shoulder and into the back of the Honda Accord he was in. The man said he yelled at Wilson, stating that his actions were abusive to the dog, court records show.

The pair got into a brief argument that ended when Wilson opened his driver’s side door, leaned out and told the man “I got a firearm. I’ll use it on you,” records state. The man backed away from Wilson, but went to the back of the vehicle to take a picture of Wilson’s license plate.

Wilson then put the car in reverse and hit the man, court records state. Wilson hit the man two more times, records show.

When stopped by deputies later, Wilson told them that he was at the gas station and that he and another man got into an argument. Wilson denied abusive treatment to the dog, which was still in the car. He said he felt as though the other man wanted to fight, and told him his family had firearms, court records state. Wilson said he felt threatened by the man, according to court records.

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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