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Bellingham police bust underage party near scene of October riot

BELLINGHAM — Police busted a rowdy party teeming with underage drinkers near Western Washington University's north campus this weekend, less than a block from the scene of a riot that made national news in October.

A total of 30 people were cited for minor in possession of alcohol late Saturday, Nov. 23, at a house in the 600 block of East Myrtle Street, said Bellingham Police Sgt. Jason Monson.

All five renters accused of hosting the party are WWU students, according to the university.

Police on regular duty — notably without the help of a mobile booking vehicle, or "party bus," Monson said — responded to neighbors' reports of people urinating outdoors, yelling, running around in the yard littered with beer bottles and generally causing a public nuisance.

Residents of the Sehome neighborhood might have been especially perturbed, Monson said, because Laurel Park, the scene of a drunken riot of hundreds of young revelers in October, is practically next door.

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The party-goers scattered, some bolting into the house, when police arrived around 11:45 p.m.

Tenants shut the front door of the home and wouldn't let police in, "which is their right," Monson said. But after police got a search warrant, Monson said, the five tenants lied about not living there, gave fake names and tried to avoid officers.

The tenants were briefly arrested on suspicion of furnishing liquor to minors, disorderly conduct and obstructing law enforcement. 

Their names:

—Laura Horan Jackson, 20.

—Raisa Hiroko Hernandez, 20.

—Halle Marie Mahlik, 19.

—Shae-Lynn Love, 19.

—Katherine Linville-Wellman, 19.

John Thompson, assistant director of University Communications, confirmed the tenants attend WWU.

Twenty-five other minors were cited for drinking or possessing alcohol. Many of their names are listed on the Bellingham police blotter, here. (Some names aren't posted because the police reports aren't done.)

Other than one tenant, Jackson, nobody was taken to jail* — which is overburdened enough already, Monson said — but they're all expected to show up to court to face charges.

Correction on Wednesday, Nov. 27. The original post stated no one was booked into jail. The jail log said otherwise. Jackson has since posted bond.