Photo by Jessie Stensland / Whidbey News-Times.
                                Florida resident Dale Mickler appears in Island County Superior Court Monday with attorney Morgan Gierhart.

Photo by Jessie Stensland / Whidbey News-Times. Florida resident Dale Mickler appears in Island County Superior Court Monday with attorney Morgan Gierhart.

Woman accused of grabbing girl at Deception Pass park

A 64-year-old woman is accused of grabbing a child and running away with her at a Deception Pass campground June 9.

Dale E. Mickler made her preliminary appearance in Island County Superior Court Monday. Judge Vickie Churchill found there was probable cause to believe Mickler committed the crime of attempted kidnapping.

Chief Criminal Prosecutor Eric Ohme asked the judge to set Mickler’s bail at $10,000. He said she is from Florida and has no ties to the area, so he was concerned she might not show up for her court appearances.

In addition, Ohme pointed to the nature of the crime.

“This is a strange and frightening set of facts,” he said.

Mickler’s attorney Morgan Gierhart, with Island Defense, argued for a lower bail, pointing out that her client is 64 years old, has no criminal history and has the resources to stay at a hotel while the case is pending. She said Mickler and family members had been traveling the country and staying at campgrounds.

Churchill set her bail at $10,000.

According to the police report, deputies responded to a campground at Deception Pass State Park on a report of suspicious circumstances.

One of the campers told police that a woman, later identified as Mickler, had been walking in and out of campgrounds all day, engaging in small talk. He said she took an interest in his young daughters and showed them her dogs, which he was comfortable with.

But Mickler later returned, grabbed one of the girls by the arm and walked away at a fast pace, the police report says. The man asked what she was doing and followed her. Mickler picked the girl up under her arm and began to run toward her camper.

At the camper, Mickler wrapped her arms around the girl and refused to release her.

The man had to forcefully pull Mickler’s arms off the girl to get her free, the report states.

She tried to drive away, but officers responding to the incident stopped her inside the park. Mickler smelled of alcohol and was arrested for DUI, the report says.

Mickler told a deputy that she didn’t remember much of the incident and was only looking out for the girls.

Photo by Jessie Stensland / Whidbey News-Times.
                                Florida resident Dale Mickler appears in Island County Superior Court Monday with attorney Morgan Gierhart.

Photo by Jessie Stensland / Whidbey News-Times. Florida resident Dale Mickler appears in Island County Superior Court Monday with attorney Morgan Gierhart.

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