Crime

Police: Bellingham teen arrested after attacking parents with baton

A Bellingham teenager faces a first-degree assault charge for an attack on his parents with a metal baton, according to police.

The parents, a man in his late 50s and a woman in her late 40s, had been walking their dog Sunday afternoon, July 12, in the 2400 block of Nevada Street, said Bellingham Police Sgt. Mike Scanlon.

They were in the backyard of their home around 4:35 p.m. when Skyler Dean Steagall, 18, and one of Steagall’s friends ambushed them, according to police reports.

Steagall hit his father on the head and neck with a collapsible baton — a knock-off of a metal ASP baton — while the other teen, 17, punched him, Scanlon said. The woman was hit by the baton on her thigh and foot. She ran inside to call 911.

Neither victim suffered life-threatening injuries, though Scanlon said a strike from the weapon easily could have been deadly.

About an hour later officers and a police dog caught up to the suspects near the 3100 block of Racine Street.

Steagall faces charges of assault in the first degree, assault in the second degree and violating a no-contact order his father had against him.

Bellingham police believe Steagall “blames his dad for a lot of things that came about in his life,” Scanlon said, but otherwise there doesn’t appear to be a specific motive for the attack.

The other boy was booked into juvenile detention to face assault charges. Police have not released his name because he’s a juvenile.

Steagall no longer lives at the house on Nevada Street.

Reach Caleb Hutton at 360-715-2276 or caleb.hutton@bellinghamherald.com. Read the Dispatcher blog at bellinghamherald.com/dispatcher-blog and follow him on Twitter at @bhamcaleb.

The timeframe of the events was corrected Tuesday, July 14.

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