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Ferndale man threatened family with box cutter, machete then fled by jumping over neighboring fences

Ferndale Police - file photo My Ferndale News
Ferndale Police – file photo Whatcom News

FERNDALE, Wash. — Ferndale Police Department officers were dispatched to a Hawthorne Street residence after What-Comm 911 received a call reporting a domestic violence assault. According to City of Ferndale Communications Officer Riley Sweeney, the caller reported a family member had assaulted at least 1 family member and was threatening other family members with a machete.

Officers arrived and spoke with family members who pointed out the suspect. The suspect was ordered to the ground and did not comply, instead fleeing on foot and jumping fences in the neighborhood while wearing only shorts and no shoes.

Officers remaining with the family were able to determine the suspect attempted to stab 1 family member with a box cutter, had assaulted 2 family members and threatened the family with a machete as well as making threats to burn down the house.

Ferndale Police officers were assisted by Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Washington State Patrol in setting up a perimeter around the area to contain the suspect. A Bellingham Police Department K9 unit responded and began to track the suspect.  The suspect was located by the K9 unit and taken into custody without incident. He had suffered a sprained ankle and lacerations while fleeing officers.

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Whatcom County Fire District 7 personnel treated the suspect at the scene and released him to police custody according to Assistant Fire Chief Dean Crosswhite.

Ferndale Police booked the suspect, identified as Rosalio L Todd, age 23, into Whatcom County Jail charged with suspicion of the following crimes.

  • 2nd degree domestic violence assault
  • 4th degree domestic violence assault
  • Interfering with reporting of domestic violence
  • Domestic violence harassment
  • Obstructing a police officer

At the time of the incident, Todd was out of custody while awaiting trial on 3 counts of 2nd degree assault with a deadly weapon after posting $10,000 bail. Those charges stemmed from a 2019 incident where Todd is suspected of shooting into another vehicle in what was reported to be a road rage incident in Ferndale. A bench warrant had been issued for Todd’s arrest in June in that case after he failed to appear at a hearing.

He is also awaiting trial for attempting to elude a police vehicle, reckless endangerment and reckless driving stemming from an incident on I-5 in Ferndale on May 14th.

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According to an affidavit by a Washington State Patrol trooper and submitted to the court by prosecutors, Todd was observed by the trooper driving at a high rate of speed on southbound I-5 from the Portal Way interchange. The trooper noted the suspect, later identified as Todd, “was traveling at such high speeds over 100 MPH that it was reckless no matter the weather, roadway conditions, or speed of that section of the interstate.” The trooper got close enough that the driver would be able to see his emergency lights and know to pull to the shoulder. The trooper reported the vehicle continued southbound at between 130 and 140mph before the vehicle “heavily braked” and stopped on the Slater Road interchange on-ramp.

The trooper took the driver, Todd, into custody. A passenger in the car told the trooper they had been going northbound and southbound on I-5 at high rates of speed that evening prior to being pulled over.

Todd was booked and released due to COVID-19 restrictions at the Whatcom County Jail. A bench warrant had been issued for Todd’s arrest 2 weeks later after he failed to appear at the preliminary hearing.

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