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Bellingham Police arrest burglary suspect that had been booked and released less than an hour before

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Bellingham Police Department (BPD) officers were dispatched to a residence in the 1100 block of N Garden Street about 5:30am, Tuesday, March 22nd, after the occupants called 911 and reported someone had kick their front door open and then fled.

According to police radio transmissions at the time, the officers that responded were provided a description of a suspect and began to search the area. The suspect was seen running away, then was detained by an officer and identified as Christian Lee Dillard, age 22. An officer at the scene radioed he was familiar with Dillard since he had been booked and released at Whatcom County Jail less than an hour earlier.

According to the BPD press summary log, Dillard had called 911 about 4am to report he had used a large rock to gain entry to a business on the 1900 block of King Street. According to police radio transmissions at the time, he surrendered without incident to the responding officers. He was booked and released at the jail about 4:40am after being charged with felony 2nd degree burglary and 3rd degree malicious mischief causing over $750 damage.

According to jail records, after the second booking, also for 2nd degree burglary and malicious mischief, Dillard remained in custody without the option to post bail pending a preliminary appearance in Whatcom County Superior Court.

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Dillard last appeared in Whatcom County Superior Court after a BPD officer observed him walking and swinging a 3-foot metal rod at passing vehicles while walking in the lanes of travel on Lakeway Drive on April 26, 2021. According to an affidavit of probable cause, a BPD officer saw him shatter a windshield, causing the motorist to “reverse very quickly to avoid further damage or assault.” Another motorist reported Dillard had swung the metal rod into their vehicle. Dillard was eventually arrested after fleeing from officers on foot and charging at 1 who “had to move and physically defend himself […] to avoid being physically assaulted.”

Dillard was arrested, booked into the jail and later pled guilty to felony charges of 3rd degree assault and 3rd degree assault of a law enforcement officer and a gross misdemeanor charge of 3rd degree malicious mischief. He was sentenced October 2021 to 14 months in custody with credit for the 6 months he remained in custody since his arrest and 12 months community custody.

Dillard also has prior felony convictions since 2018 for 2nd degree theft, bail jumping and 3rd degree assault.

One Comment

  1. John March 22, 2022

    Is this type of person really who we want walking around? If one of these repeat criminals hurts my kid while she’s walking downtown with her friends, the city, and county, will be facing a lawsuit like they’ve never seen. Clean this up. Citizen safety is one place our tax dollars should never be spared. Is this what the voters wanted? To walk around in fear of being assaulted or wake up to some repeat felon kicking in their door? If so, mission accomplished, I sure hope you’re proud of yourselves.

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