BELLINGHAM (NEWS1130) – A hefty prison sentence has been handed to a Chilliwack man for pushing down an 80-year-old man in a foiled carjacking at a Wendy’s restaurant in Bellingham.

At his Whatcom County Superior Court hearing, where he was sentenced to more than 3 years in prison, Reggie Wareagle Williams, 32, said he felt “really bad about what happened.”

According to court documents, Williams approached James Bullion on July 30th in the parking lot at 140 S. Samish Way.

As Bullion exited his Hyundai Sonata, Williams demanded the keys. When Bullion refused to hand them over he was thrown to the ground and assaulted. He suffered injuries to his knees, arm, and ear. Williams ripped the keys away and got into the car.

A Wendy’s employee, Amanda Briggs, grabbed Williams to pull him out of the car, just as the gear shifted into reverse. Briggs got knocked down by the door.

Two men ran over, pulled Williams from the car and pinned him to the ground. Minutes later, when police arrived, they found an open-blade knife in the suspect’s pants pocket.

Williams pleaded guilty to first-degree attempted robbery and second-degree assault while armed with a deadly weapon.

Judge Ira Uhrig handed him a sentence of three years, four months and two weeks in prison, noting it was the maximum term allowed under the law for a first-time offender.

News1130 legal analyst Michael Shapray says sentences in the US can simply be more stringent and longer than ours. “It certainly could attract a jail sentence, but it certainly would not for a first-offender, would not result in someone going to jail for anywhere near 3 years, as far as any cases that I’m aware of.”

“In the US there’s different factors that go into sentencing, in terms of the types of offences and what they sentence. We just don’t have the same offences and the same sentencing regime,” he adds.