Man accused of leading car chase on North Whidbey Island

A 47-year-old Oregon man is being held in jail after allegedly leading deputies on an unusual high-speed chase in North Whidbey Oct. 6.

Michael C. Burkholder, who’s identified in court papers as being a transient from Oregon, pleaded not guilty in Island County Superior Court Oct. 22 to one charge of attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle.

Judge Vickie Churchill set his bail at $20,000 Oct. 8.

Deputy David Dennis was on patrol on North Whidbey when he saw a vehicle leaving a home near the intersection of Highway 20 and Ault Field Road, which is known as a haven for criminal activity, according to the deputy’s report.

Dennis pulled in behind the car and noticed that it was traveling erratically and under the speed limit.

He turned on his lights to pull the car over as it was entering the Candlewood Suites parking lot.

The car stopped and the passenger, a man wanted on a felony warrant, got out.

The vehicle then fled the traffic stop, heading north on Highway 20, according to the deputy’s report.

Dennis chased after the car, while the driver alternately sped over the speed limit and suddenly braked; Dennis wrote that the driver was trying to get him to crash into the back of the car. The chase led to East Fakkema Road, Green Valley Road, Wilson Road, Torrence Lane, North Appian Way, back onto Fakkema and then the highway.

The car suddenly turned into a field and came to a stop.

The deputy arrested the driver, who was later identified as Burkholder.


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