10-day sentence for grabbing assessor by necktie

BELLINGHAM — A Washington man who pleaded guilty to grabbing the Whatcom County assessor by his necktie hard enough to pull his feet off the ground has been sentenced to 10 days in jail and 20 days of house arrest.

The Bellingham Herald reported that 56-year-old Lincoln Lewis Rutter of Semiahmoo pleaded guilty Thursday to intimidating a public servant in the June 2012 confrontation with Assessor Keith Willnauer.

Prosecutors say the confrontation involved the assessor’s decision to change the tax status on some land.

According to court documents, the 6-foot-4, 245-pound Rutter grabbed Willnauer’s tie hard enough to tear his shirt collar and pull him off the ground. The assessor’s face reported slammed onto an office countertop.

Willnauer’s co-workers were among those who saw what happened.

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