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Man arrested for reportedly threatening family at Squalicum Creek Park

Suspect faces felony harassment charges

By Rena Kingery News Intern

Bellingham Police arrested a man who reportedly chased and threatened two adults and their 8-month-old baby in Squalicum Creek Park on Wednesday.

BPD officers were dispatched to the scene on March 30 at 1:05 p.m. after a 911 caller reported being chased by a man with a knife.

The man, later identified by police as James Leroy Solvey, 49, approached the family and asked for money. When they told him they had none, Solvey pulled out and pointed at them what seemed to be a large knife, the victims reported. He then threatened to kill and sexually assault them, police stated.

Fearing for their lives, the two adults ran toward their car pushing the baby in a stroller, police said. Solvey allegedly chased them with the sharp object, which police later identified as a large pair of scissors. 

When the family reached the car, Solvey blocked them from entering, so they ran to the nearby street, police said, where they met a man who said he was armed and that he would protect them from the suspect. This man left the scene before police were able to contact him.

Solvey then ran into a nearby dental office at Squalicum Lofts, police stated. Lt. Claudia Murphy of BPD said that after arriving, the officers kept their distance at first, using verbal commands from outside the office and tapping on the window glass.

Solvey did not respond and became more agitated, police said. Fearing for the safety of people inside the building, officers reportedly entered the office and ordered Solvey to the ground. He did not comply, Murphy said, so officers physically restrained him and took him into custody without incident.

A witness at the park said Solvey approached and yelled at others in the park before police were called to the scene. 

Solvey is suspected of felony harassment for threatening the lives of the family. He is being held at Whatcom County Jail in lieu of a $30,000 appearance bond.

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