By Caleb Hutton
A Whatcom County man was arrested after a standoff that lasted several hours Wednesday morning, May 9, at a Samish Way hotel.
About 9 a.m., Steven Damon Smith was talking with a 40-year-old man in the parking lot of the Bellingham Lodge, 101 N. Samish Way.
The man’s tires had been slashed, probably sometime overnight. While they were discussing the tires, Smith pushed the man down for some reason — it’s not clear why, said Bellingham Police spokesman Mark Young. Smith went to his hotel room. The victim called police to report the assault and the slashed tires.
(Police aren’t sure if the two crimes are connected, Young said.)
When an officer tried to talk to Smith, he refused to cooperate and slammed the door in the officer’s face, Young said.
Smith’s history suggested he could be in possession of firearms, so officers brought in members of their SWAT team. Smith refused to open the door, Young said. That started a standoff lasting several hours.
Eventually the cops subdued Smith with “less-lethal impact munitions” (bean bag and pepper spray launchers), Young said. Smith was booked into Whatcom County Jail at 2:30 p.m. on investigation of fourth-degree assault and obstructing law enforcement.
Smith also had warrants out for his arrest, for failing to appear for fourth-degree domestic violence assault and possession of methamphetamine.
On Feb. 5, deputies were called to an assault at a home north of Kendall. Deputies arrested Smith, and while they searched him they found meth inside one of his jacket pockets, according to an affidavit filed in Whatcom County Superior Court.
He told them he had a “presidential clearing code to have it,” because he “did contract work for the president,” according to the charges. That case is ongoing.