Man runs from police, pushes way into Bellingham apartment

An Everson man fleeing police broke into a Bellingham apartment Wednesday night, March 23, forcing his way past a woman with a baby who answered the door, police said.

Zachary Ranahan, 29, did not threaten or otherwise harm the people inside the apartment after he ran from a state trooper who had pulled his car over for a broken brake light, said State Patrol spokesman Mark Francis. The stop happened in the 300 block of West Bakerview Road at about 8:20 p.m.

When Ranahan gave the trooper a driver’s license that belonged to someone else, the trooper asked Ranahan to get out of the car, said Lt. Bob Vander Yacht, a spokesman for the Bellingham Police Department. Ranahan ran moments later.

He made his way to an apartment in the 400 block of Westerly Road, about a block north of the stop, and knocked on the door. A 21-year-old woman answered, later telling police another tenant had left for groceries and she thought he had returned.

The woman, holding a baby, hesitated when she saw Ranahan, who forced his way inside and into the bathroom to hide, walking past a bedroom where another child was asleep, Vander Yacht said.

The man who had left for groceries returned. He told Ranahan he would give him a ride somewhere. Ranahan agreed and got in the man’s car. The woman had called police, who arrived while Ranahan sat in the vehicle. Officers arrested him at about 8:50 p.m., Vander Yacht said.

He was booked into jail on suspicion of first-degree burglary, first-degree criminal impersonation, obstructing, giving a false statement to a police officer and resisting arrest. Ranahan was carrying brass knuckles and a switchblade-style knife when he entered the apartment, which raised the burglary charge to first degree, Vander Yacht said.

Ranahan was also wanted on warrants related to driving under the influence and third-degree theft, Vander Yacht said.

In 2010, Ranahan pleaded guilty to aiding in a robbery at the Cordata Cruisin Coffee stand. In November 2014, Ranahan pleaded guilty to felony heroin possession, according to Washington court records.

Kyle Mittan: 360-756-2803, @KyleMittan