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Bashed burglar charged

A 21-year-old burglar who attacked a North Whidbey homeowner last Thursday and lost the fight is now in Island County Jail.

Commander Mike Beech with the Island County Sheriff’s Office said the burglary suspect, Jared McKeela of Central Whidbey, was released from Harborview Medical Center in Seattle Friday. Seattle Police immediately arrested him on a $50,000 warrant.

Prosecutors charged McKeel in Island County Superior Court Friday with first-degree burglary and second-degree assault.

Emergency personnel airlifted McKeel to Harborview Thursday after he sustained serious injuries in a fight with a homeowner. William Pape reported that he returned to his Benton Place home with his 5-year-old daughter and collided with McKeel, who was burglarizing the residence.

Pape claimed that McKeel attacked him with a steel flashlight. Pape defended himself and was able to overcome the younger, skinny intruder. He tied McKeel’s legs up with a belt.

McKeel’s injuries were serious enough that responding medical personnel sent him to Harborview. A helicopter picked him up at Crescent Harbor Elementary School parking lot.

Beech said he was unsure of the exact extend of McKeel’s injuries, but the suspect had obvious injuries to his head and left eye. Doctors used mulitple staples to close head wounds.

Pape sustained a head injury that required 20 stitches.

Beech said McKeel was moved along the prisoner transport “chain” and arrived at the Island County Jail Tuesday.

You can reach Jessie Stensland at jstensland@whidbeynewstimes.com or 675-6611.

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