Crime

Driver accused of striking man in road rage incident in Bellingham

An Acme man faces felony assault charges for trying to run over two men in a parking lot off Sunset Drive, according to Bellingham police.

A driver, 20, in a low-rider car hit his brakes hard around 1:20 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22, as he came up to a speed bump between the Safeway and Rite Aid in Sunset Square, said Sgt. Mike Scanlon.

The man thought he’d been rear-ended by a ’95 Oldsmobile Ciera behind him, so he got out to talk with the other driver. However the Oldsmobile passed by, did a loop in the parking lot, and came back toward the other driver, almost hitting him, Scanlon said. Witnesses told police the driver of the Oldsmobile, later identified by police as Caelin Lane Haskew, 20, tried to hit the man on purpose.

Another man, 20, jumped out of the low-rider and tried to confront the Oldsmobile driver. Haskew kept driving the car in loops around the parking lot “multiple times,” until his car came back at the two men, Scanlon said. This time the car hit the passenger who had gotten out.

The man was upended onto the windshield and suffered serious injuries to his left arm, fingers and left leg, according to police. An off-duty paramedic tended to him.

Haskew fled the scene, Scanlon said. Sheriff’s deputies tracked him down that afternoon at a home in Acme, off Valley Highway. His car had obvious damage to the driver’s side of its windshield, police said.

Haskew was booked into Whatcom County Jail on suspicion of assault in the first degree.

Since turning 18 years old in April 2014, Haskew has been a defendant in 14 cases, including shoplifting, trespassing and driving with a suspended license, according to state court records.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested Haskew last November for driving 80 mph in a 35 mph zone. His car was found parked in a cul de sac off Yew Street Road, with Haskew trying to hide by leaning back in the driver’s seat, according to charging papers. Deputies also found a pipe and small bag of meth in his car. He was released from jail on personal recognizance.

Haskew caused a serious crash a month later, on the morning of Dec. 23, 2014, when his ’00 Chevrolet Impala crossed the center line of Valley Highway and hit two northbound vehicles, a Honda Civic and a box truck. Ambulances rushed the Honda driver, 23, and Haskew to St. Joseph hospital. Their injuries weren’t life-threatening, according to Washington State Patrol. Troopers said Haskew had been speeding.

For the Yew Street Road arrest Haskew pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors. Superior Court Judge Deborra Garrett sentenced him to a year in jail, with all but one month suspended.

He pleaded guilty last month to reckless driving for the crash on Valley Highway. A charge of driving under the influence was dropped, and Haskew was sentenced in District Court to one year of probation.

Caleb Hutton: 360-715-2276, @bhamcaleb

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