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Man arrested after walking away from crash, harrassing motorists

Scene of a rollover crash on Malloy Road (April 14, 2022). Photo: Whatcom News

FERNDALE, Wash. — First responders were dispatched to a report of a rollover crash on Malloy Road, south of Brown Road about 4:40pm, Thursday, April 14th.

Approximate location of the crash

According to law enforcement radio transmissions at the time, the driver of the crashed vehicle was reportedly agitated and had walked away from the crash site. While a Ferndale Police officer was investigating the crash, a report of a car versus pedestrian incident about 3/4 of a mile away on Portal Way was received about 5pm.

According to witnesses, there had been no collision with a pedestrian, but a man walking south in the roadway on Portal Way had been yelling at passing motorists and, in some cases, beating on their vehicles. It was determined this was the same person seen leaving the crash scene on Malloy Road.

Whatcom County Fire District 7 Division Chief Ben Boyko told Whatcom News the aid crews that responded to the crash and then to the reported incident on Portal Way contacted the subject both time and both times he refused medical aid.

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Ferndale Police Department officers and Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office deputies kept their distance while maintaining visual contact with the subject as he continued south on Portal Way, east on Trigg Road, south on Portal Manor, through a wooded area and then east on Kaas Road.

It was on Kaas Road that, according to radio transmissions, a Tazer was used to enable the deputies and officers to safely take the man into custody. Boyko said aid crews transported the subject from the location on Kaas Road to PeaceHealth St Joseph Medical Center via ambulance with non-life-threatening injuries.

Once cleared from the hospital, the man, identified as Vincent Russell, age 35, was arrested and booked into the Whatcom County Jail charged with suspicion of the following.

  • 2 counts of 1st degree driving while his license was suspended
  • attempting to elude a police vehicle
  • 3rd degree malicious mischief
  • possession of a stolen vehicle
  • possession of stolen property
  • resisting arrest

He was also booked under a bench warrant from Ferndale Municipal Court for failure to appear in a case where he is charged with 4th degree assault.

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There were unconfirmed radio reports that Russell was also involved in a crash in the 5300 block of Hovander Road on Tuesday, April 12th, about 7:30pm. In that incident, the driver also walked away after refusing medical aid and was gone by the time law enforcement arrived.

Russell also has a current case in Superior Court where he faces a protection order violation charge.

In 2018, Russell pled guilty to a felony charge of attempting to elude a police vehicle and a gross misdemeanor charge of hit and run of an attended vehicle related to an incident in 2017. At the time of the pleading, he had prior felony convictions for harassment, burglary, assault, theft, possession of a controlled substance, taking a motor vehicle without permission and malicious mischief.

The Ferndale Police Department office was closed today, Friday, April 15th, and did not immediately respond to a request for details regarding these incidents.

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