Crime

Police: Bellingham man assaults Dumpster diver with car

A man tried to hit another man multiple times with his car when the two got into an altercation in a parking lot Sunday night, Sept. 20, according to police.

Jeffrey Steven Martin, 40, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree assault after a fight outside Maplewood Animal Hospital, 2869 W. Maplewood Ave., said police Sgt. Mike Scanlon.

Martin, of Bellingham, heard somebody going through the trash bin in the parking lot around 11:15 p.m. He went over to confront the man, and the two started yelling at each other, Scanlon said. Martin doesn’t work at the animal hospital.

Martin then got into his Mitsubishi sedan and tried hitting the man with his car, police say. He did this multiple times, sometimes driving onto the curb in his pursuit. The victim, whose name has not been released, responded by throwing rocks at the car and making gestures, Scanlon said.

The man claims he was hit by the car; Martin says otherwise. The victim’s injuries include scrapes to his hands and knees that may have occurred when he fell down trying to get out of the car’s way, Scanlon said.

Martin was already facing charges of vehicular assault and driving under the influence for a 2011 incident in which he crashed into a motorcyclist on Bennett Drive, then took a breath test and blew a 0.136 blood alcohol content, according to charges filed in Whatcom County Superior Court.

The Bellingham Herald’s archives show Martin also was booked into jail in 2014 on suspicion of hit and run.

He remained in Whatcom County Jail on Monday.

Reach Wilson Criscione at 360-756-2803 or wilson.criscione@bellinghamherald.com.

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