Muffin theft spurs high-speed chase

"A theft of milk and muffins in the wee hours last Saturday turned into a police shooting, a near-miss pedestrian accident and a high-speed chase across North Whidbey.The suspects are still at large, but a gallon of milk and some muffins were recovered by police.Island County Sheriff Hawley says an employee at the All Sports Pub and Eatery on Goldie Road called 911 after seeing a suspicious car drive behind the building.A deputy responded and, walking around the building, came upon the white Mercury Topaz idling in back. He drew his pistol, Hawley said, pointed it at the car and ordered the two occupants to come out.Instead, the driver of the car sped out towards him. The deputy ran out of the way, but tripped and fell. The car missed the deputy, but the deputy's gun discharged.Hawley said it's not clean whether the deputy accidentally shot the gun or if he purposely fired at the car. He said a shooting review board, which looks into all shootings involving deputies, will investigate the incident in a couple of weeks.After the car sped off, a state trooper spotted the car northbound on Highway 20 and pursued it at high speeds onto Frostad Road. The driver finally lost control and crashed the car at the intersection of Dike and Frostad roads. Hawley said the occupants got out and ran into the weeds before the trooper could stop them.The Oak Harbor Police Department's police dog and handler were called to track the suspects, Hawley said, but the dog wasn't able to find their trail.The milk and muffins that were found inside the car apparently came from a refrigerator in a fenced, locked area behind the All Sports Pub. Hawley said the refrigerator belongs to the owner of a nearby espresso stand.In another wrinkle to the story, the suspect's car, which has been impounded, turned out to be registered to a man in the county jail.He has a pretty good alibi, Hawley said. He added that the inmate told investigators that he sold the car over a year ago to someone, but he can't remember the person's name. The bullet the deputy fired did not hit the car and hasn't been found. "

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