Whatcom County, WA – On August 12, 2021, around 6:55 am, dispatch received a request for a wellness check in the 6800 block of Braker Way in Lynden. A 20-year-old woman, later identified as Anna Hanson from Lynden, had driven away, without clothing, from a family member’s house.
Around 7:15 am, deputies working at the WCSO Laurel Substation heard a loud crash. Ms. Hanson had driven her car through the front double doors of Meridian High School and crashed into the wall on the opposite side of the building where the vehicle stopped. After exiting the vehicle, Ms. Hanson forced entry into an upstairs classroom.
Due to the proximity of the WCSO Substation in the parking lot of Meridian High School, deputies were able to immediately respond and found Ms. Hanson, still naked, barricaded in a classroom on the second floor of the school. She was vandalizing the classroom and breaking interior and exterior windows with an oversized mallet. Ms. Hanson refused to come out and threatened to kill deputies and kill herself. WCSO Crisis Negotiators arrived on the scene and, after over an hour of negotiations, were successful in convincing her to surrender peacefully.
Ms. Hanson had no serious injuries. She sustained minor cuts from the broken glass and was cleared by aid on the scene. An early estimate on damages to the school was $100,000.
“This dangerous and rapidly evolving situation was safely resolved by our deputies utilizing their training and resources to de-escalate the involved subject and gain her cooperation,” said Undersheriff Doug Chadwick. “Through the use of time, distance, and highly trained crisis negotiators, they were able to safely take the subject into custody. While there was significant property damage, we are thankful that there were no serious injuries to Ms. Hanson or any other persons on scene. Our thoughts are with the Meridian community as they rebuild and prepare for the upcoming school year.”
Ms. Hanson was arrested and booked into Whatcom County Jail for Burglary 1st and Malicious Mischief 1st.