Jesse Reyes, 33, was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder and assault for a rampage in Bellingham on Saturday. Prosecutors say his three victims were all strangers and the attacks culminated with the death of Donald Alderson, 71.

Share story

A 71-year-old Bellingham man was fatally stabbed 34 times Saturday morning by a stranger who went on a 14-minute rampage that injured two other people, according to Whatcom County prosecutors.

Jesse Reyes, 33, was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder with a deadly weapon for the death of Donald Alderson, whose body was found at 11:19 a.m. Saturday by passers-by on a trail behind the Haskell Business Center, located at 1001 Meador Ave., charging papers say. Prosecutors have further alleged an aggravating circumstance that Reyes’ conduct “manifested deliberate cruelty to the victim,” say the charges.

Reyes was also charged with second-degree assault and fourth-degree assault for allegedly punching two other people, according to the charges. He remains in the Whatcom County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail, jail records show.

According to the charges:

Bellingham police officers responded to a report of an assault at a teriyaki restaurant at 11:05 a.m. Saturday. A Bellingham woman was sitting in the restaurant when an unknown man walked up to her and began punching her in the head and face, the charges say. Employees intervened and stopped the assault and the man left the restaurant, located at 806 Lakeway Dr.

Four minutes later, at 11:09 a.m., someone called 911 to report a fight at the corner of Lincoln Street and Potter Street, two blocks north of the restaurant, say the charges. The male victim told officers he was walking on the sidewalk when he was approached by a man on a bicycle, charging papers say. The man punched him in the face, knocking him to the ground, then straddled him and continued to punch him, say the charges. The victim, who lives in Coupeville, spent the night in the hospital after suffering a brain bleed from the attack, according to the charges.

A witness photographed the suspect as he was leaving the scene, and the photo matched the description of the assailant who attacked the woman at the restaurant, the charges say.

About four blocks north of where the man was assaulted, witnesses called 911 to report a man — Alderson — down on the trail behind the business center. The witnesses told police that just before seeing Alderson on the ground, they saw a man wearing a blood-soaked white sweatshirt riding a bike, the charges say.

Officers arrested Reyes a short time later at 1800 Texas St., which is less than two miles north of where Alderson was killed, the charges say. He was still wearing the bloody sweatshirt and was pushing his bike, say the charges. Police recovered a folding knife with what appeared to be blood on the blade from a nearby playfield where young people were playing flag football, charging papers say.