25-pound railroad tie hurled at Bellingham officers’ car slams through windshield

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Two Bellingham police officers escaped being severely injured when a man hurled a 25-pound piece of railroad tie at their patrol car, which crashed into their windshield, spraying shards of glass.

The officers were on Lincoln Street approaching Fraser Street at 4:30 a.m. Saturday when they saw a man hunched over right after a blind corner.

A moment later, the man threw the piece of wood “into the air in an arc aimed directly at the windshield of their car,” the Bellingham Police Department wrote in a post on its Facebook page.

Photos show the tie crashed through the windshield.

The officers called for help, fished through the glass to turn on their emergency lights, and then turned the car around.

When police contacted the man who threw the railroad tie, he stopped for officers but ignored the rest of their commands, police said.

When other officers arrived, the man still refused to cooperate. Officers then came up with a plan to physically take him into custody. He was arrested and booked into jail.

The officers involved in the incident spent a considerable amount of time removing glass shards from their skin, hair, mouths and every pocket and crease of their uniforms.

Police said the man didn’t know he was throwing the railroad tie at a police car. Instead, he was just throwing it at any car passing by.

The man had been contacted by Bellingham police 26 times this year, with 15 arrests, including Saturday’s incident. He also had eight warrants for his arrest, for which he was booked.

“His behavior is a clear danger to the community, and we are lucky our officers (or anyone else) were not seriously hurt,” PBD said on Facebook.