Man gets 22 months for drunken downtown Bellingham stabbing

A man must spend 22 months in prison for stabbing another man twice in a late-night scuffle in downtown Bellingham, a Whatcom County judge ruled.

Emmanuel Jesus Figueroa, 24, approached a woman outside a taco truck on Railroad Avenue around 2 a.m. Saturday, June 6, and tried to convince her to walk home with him.

Her brother, Frimann Sigfusson, 25, butted in and told him no, she wouldn’t be going with him, because she’d had too much to drink. The two men argued. Figueroa punched Sigfusson in the side of the face and ran off, according to charging papers.

Meanwhile the woman walked away. Sigfusson and his two other sisters went looking for her in a car. After about 15 minutes of fruitless searching, they spotted Figueroa again in the 1300 block of Railroad Avenue.

Sigfusson got out of the car and confronted him. They fought. Figueroa took out a steak knife and stabbed Sigfusson near his left armpit and again on the left side of his abdomen, according to the charges.

A Bellingham police officer reached the scene as the fight ended. She chased Figueroa about two blocks to Cornwall Avenue and Champion Street. He was hiding in bushes.

At the police station Figueroa claimed the “guy” — Sigfusson — “jumped him” at the second confrontation, according to charging papers. Figueroa had a cut on his eyelid, a scratch on his forearm and a scrape on his knee. He didn’t recall stabbing anyone, he said. Police believe both men had been drinking.

A bloody knife, its blade bent at the handle, was found between two cars on Railroad.

Figueroa pleaded guilty last week to assault in the second degree, a class B felony. Superior Court Judge Charles Snyder sentenced him to 22 months in prison. The judge ordered him to be evaluated for substance abuse treatment.

Figueroa started serving out his sentence at a state prison Tuesday, Aug. 4.

Reach Caleb Hutton at 360-715-2276 or Read the Dispatcher blog at and follow him on Twitter at @bhamcaleb.