BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Yesterday’s manhunt in the neighborhoods of Marietta resulted in 2 being detained and at least 1 arrested. Today, April 22nd, Bellingham Police Department (BPD) Lieutenant Claudia Murphy provided Whatcom News with the details of what led up to the arrest and charges.
Murphy told Whatcom News they arrested James Michael Discher, age 29, of Blaine, after locating him hiding inside a vehicle on a property.
BPD officers had been dispatched on April 6th about 10:15pm to a report of an armed robbery at a retail store in the 300 block of E Bellis Fair Parkway. A subject was reported to have pulled a gun on employees after attempting to steal merchandise.
Officers viewed store surveillance video that showed the subject, later identified as Discher, walking past the checkout stands with merchandise. When stopped by 2 employees who attempt to detain him, the subject pulled a handgun from his waistband and asks, “Do you want to get shot?” Both employees released the subject who then held the gun on the employees while retreating to his vehicle and fleeing the parking lot. He was not located and probable cause was established for his arrest for 1st degree robbery and 2 counts of 1st degree assault.
Yesterday, April 21st, about 2:45pm, a BPD officer recognized Discher in the area of Primrose Lane and Telegraph Road. Discher saw the officer and fled at a high rate of speed in a car.
The BPD officer activated his vehicle’s emergency lights and sirens and pursued Discher west on Telegraph Road where he was seen using the sidewalk to drive around vehicles stopped at a red light.
Discher continued at a high rate of speed south on Meridian Street and then west on McLeod Road. He ran a stop light and sideswiped a vehicle on Alderwood Avenue while approaching a construction zone at which point the BPD officer terminated the pursuit.
According to law enforcement radio transmissions at the time, K-9 units, Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office deputies and an US Customs and Border Protection helicopter joined BPD in converging on areas south of the airport where it was thought Discher had fled.
Officers received a tip to check an address in the 3900 block of Jones Lane. Upon arriving, officers contacted the property owner who said a car had been driven onto his property at a high rate of speed and stopped. The occupants got out of the car, covered it with a tarp and fled on foot.
Officers found Discher hiding nearby in one of the property owner’s vehicles and was arrested without incident. He was transported to Whatcom County Jail and charged with robbery and assault from the April 6th incident as well as these additional charges stemming from April 21st incidents.
- 2nd degree criminal trespass
- hit and run of an attended vehicle
- attempting to elude a police vehicle
According to jail records, Discher was also booked on 4 outstanding arrest warrants and a couple controlled substance charges.
As of today, Discher remained in custody without the possibility of posting bail. He is scheduled to make a preliminary appearance in Whatcom County Superior Court on Monday.