On May 18, 2021 Whatcom Transportation Authority (WTA) passenger LaKisha A. Bolden, 44, apparently upset the bus on which she was riding was not headed downtown, got sufficiently angry with the bus driver that he needed to make an unscheduled stop. Bolden looked like she was walking off the bus when, completely unprovoked, pulled out a 4-inch knife and attacked another rider, stabbing her four times. After Bellingham Police arrived on scene and de-escalated the situation, Bolden was subsequently arrested, without further incident, for assault in the first degree and booked into the Whatcom County Jail.
Bolden and several other riders were on a WTA bus travelling on Old Fairhaven Parkway, when she realized they were not heading downtown and got angry about that. The driver safely pulled the bus over to let Bolden off. It appeared Bolden was leaving, but instead pulled out a knife and stabbed another rider. The injured rider fought back and was able to get distance from Bolden and flee the bus to safety. The rest of the riders and bus driver also safely made it off the bus. Bolden remained alone on the bus, still armed with the knife.
Bellingham Police (BPD) arrived and established a safety perimeter around the bus and shut down traffic on Old Fairhaven Parkway for the safety of motorists. The bus was disabled to prevent Bolden from being able to create a further crisis and danger to the public by driving it away. While the patrol officers maintained a safe distance, members of the BPD Crisis Negotiator Team (CNT) were called to establish contact with Bolden, engage in conversation to de-escalate the situation and have Bolden surrender.
Shortly after starting the conversation with Bolden, crisis negotiators were able to convince Bolden to step off the bus and surrender peacefully. Bolden was handcuffed and arrested for assault 1st degree and taken to the Whatcom County Jail.
The victim of the stabbing went to PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center Emergency Department for treatment for non-life-threatening stab wounds to her hand and leg.