Bellingham teen in severe beating of woman found asleep, covered in blood

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BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Bellingham police said they found a 16-year-old boy suspected of beating a 44-year-old woman sleeping and covered in blood.

Police were called to the Haggen grocery store on Woburn Street at 4:30 a.m. Saturday for a report of an unruly man who came into the store with no shirt or shoes and began yelling, but the man fled before officers arrived.

While the officers were still in the area, another call came in about an assault. 

The officers went to the 3100 block of St. Clair Street where they discovered a 44-year-old Bellingham woman who had been severely beaten on her face.  She also said she had been choked with an object. 

The woman told officers she had opened her door slightly after hearing banging and yelling at her front door.  Once the door was open, the boy pushed his way into her house and started to go to the second floor where the woman's child was. 

When the woman tried to stop the boy, she was punched many times in the face and he banged her head repeatedly on the floor, officers said.

The victim said that at one point, he put something around her neck and choked her into unconsciousness. When she awoke, he was gone.

During a check of the neighborhood, officers found a pair of pants with the boy's wallet inside.  Police found the boy asleep and covered in blood at his home in the 2200 block of Yew Street Road. 

The boy told officers he was high on marijuana and mushrooms and thought that he had killed the woman he attacked, according to police.

The victim was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital for treatment.  She is expected to be released Monday. 

The boy was arrested on charges of attempted second-degree murder and first-degree burglary and was booked into Whatcom County Juvenile Detention.