Police crack down on parties after riot

by: Lee Stoll Updated:


BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Bellingham police caught off-guard by a drunken mob hurling bottles and bricks say it will not happen again.

Officers there plan to target parties this weekend before they get out of hand, and on Thursday police showed KIRO 7 the processing bus that will patrol streets this weekend.

An officer and a partier sit on the bus while "an officer writes the citation, takes pictures of the individual, and then they're free to go," Bellingham officer Rick Sucee said.

The bus is part of a plan to protect neighborhoods from another riot like the one Saturday night that spilled into the streets around Laurel Park.

Bellingham police already planned to team up for patrols with officers from other local agencies. But the unexpected violence convinced them to increase the number of extra police on duty from four to ten.

"I've been on the police force for 40 years and lived here all my life," Sucee said. "I've never confronted a violent crowd like that was."

Katherine Swift's home was in the middle of the riot. She's not surprised the group erupted. Another fight broke out in front of her home Friday night. Someone fired two shots through her living room window.

"There are lots of crowds of drunken students or people that they wander the streets and it's not always a safe thing," said Swift.
Bellingham police plan to step up their presence through Halloween and then reevaluate their position.

"We're not going to tolerate it," Sucee said. "We're going to be very strict in enforcement."