Birch Bay man arrested after allegedly threatening to blow up train

Published on Thu, Dec 22, 2011 by Jeremy Schwartz

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Whatcom County Sheriff’s Deputies have arrested a Birch Bay man after he allegedly called 911 saying he was going to blow up a train that had delayed his drive home.

At about 11 a.m. on Tuesday, December 13, a man called 911 and said a stopped train was blocking his way at the crossing at Grandview Road near the BP Cherry Point refinery, sheriff’s deputy Kevin Moyes said. The Birch Bay resident, later identified as 58-year-old William Alyea, allegedly told 911 dispatch that he was going to blow up the train because it was blocking his way.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to the train crossing after Alyea had left, but were able to track his phone number to a home on Birch Bay Drive, Moyes said. Deputies pulled over Alyea on his way home, and he initially argued that he didn’t make the threat.

Alyea was arrested on suspicion of one count of felony threats and one count of third degree driving with a suspended license. He was booked into Whatcom County jail.

Deputies do not believe Alyea had the means to carry out his threats and that he was just upset a train had delayed him.
Alyea has a criminal history in Whatcom County, including spending 180 days in jail in 2007 after pleading guilty to felony telephone harassment and malicious mischief. In this case, Alyea called 911 the evening of October 3, 2006, and told the dispatch operator he was “going to kill every police officer in Bellingham,” according to documents filed in Whatcom County Superior Court.

After several other telephoned threats of violence against Bellingham police, including a threat to throw a pipe bomb into a passing police car, Alyea called 911 and admitted to setting a small fire with lamp oil near the Bellingham Police Department building. He also said he just rammed a county-owned car outside the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office.

Bellingham Police then found Alyea’s damaged truck at a motel a few blocks away from the sheriff’s office and entered Alyea’s motel room on a search warrant. Inside, police found Alyea, a cell phone and a partially emptied bottle of lamp oil.

In addition to the 180 days in jail, Alyea was ordered to pay for the property damage he caused.