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Bellingham man allegedly asks store employees for a knife sharpener, then stabs customer

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A Bellingham man reportedly asked employees at a discount store if they had a knife sharpener shortly before severely cutting another customer just outside the store.

Bellingham Police booked Anthony Lee Beckwith, 33, into Whatcom County Jail Tuesday, Sept. 13, on suspicion of second-degree assault, and jail records show Beckwith is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Bellingham officers were called at approximately 8:07 p.m. Aug. 18 to the discount store in the 1800 block of Cornwall Avenue for the report of a person being stabbed in the eye at the store, Whatcom County Superior Court documents state.

Police arrived to find the victim being treated by members of the Bellingham Fire Department for a significant cut above his left eye that would require stitches, documents state.

Officers spoke to two witnesses, who reported that a man, later identified as Beckwith, had been acting strangely in the store and followed them out the doors of the store, according to documents. The witness said Beckwith then attempted to punch the victim and missed, but then pulled out a cutting instrument and struck the victim with it near his eye, causing the cut.

Video surveillance from inside the store showed some of the incident, according to documents, including when Beckwith attempted to strike the victim.

Store employees told police that just before the incident, Beckwith had asked employees if they had a knife sharpener, documents state.

Though surveillance video was grainy, police were able to identify Beckwith from Bellingham Public Works contacts and through a previous law enforcement photo of Beckwith.

Whatcom County Superior Court records show Beckwith has previous convictions for theft, harassment, assault, burglary, malicious mischief, resisting arrest and residential burglary since 2015 in Whatcom and Skagit counties.

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