Oak Harbor woman sent to prison for striking officer with car, fleeing the scene

A 33-year-old Oak Harbor woman who fled from police in her car on three different occasions, striking an officer and a patrol vehicle in one incident, was recently sent to prison.

Monica Wittus pleaded guilty in Island County Superior Court earlier this month to two counts of assault in the second degree, attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle, malicious mischief, criminal impersonation in the first degree and bail jumping.

The plea resolved four different criminal cases against Wittus in Island and Skagit counties.

In court, Judge Alan Hancock agreed with the joint sentence recommendation from the prosecution and defense and sentenced her to 50 months in prison. She was also ordered to pay $1,000 for damaging an Oak Harbor police car.

Chief Criminal Prosecutor Eric Ohme said the Oct. 9, 2018 incident in Oak Harbor could have ended much differently, explaining that the police showed commendable restraint after nearly being run over by Wittus.

In that case, two officers were checking on Wittus, who had been sitting inside a car parked at McDonald’s for an hour. While speaking with her, the officers discovered that she was wanted on a warrant out of Skagit County.

One of the officers asked Wittus to shut off her car. Instead, she put her car in reverse and accelerated backwards, striking the officer’s patrol car and causing substantial damage, according to the police report.

Wittus then pulled forward at a high rate of speed and turned towards the two officer, striking one of the officers and causing him to fall to the ground. She drove off on the highway.

The injured officer was transported to the hospital in an ambulance. The other officer suffered a bruised hand.

In May 2018, a police officer in Mount Vernon noticed a idling car and spoke to the driver, later identified as Wittus. She, however, gave the officer a false name and drove off at a high rate of speed while the officer was in his car to confirm her identity. The officer pursued the speeding vehicle, but cut off the pursuit in the interest of public safety after she nearly struck several other cars.

Then in March 2019, an officer in Mount Vernon checked on a report of a suspicious car and found Wittus sleeping in the back of the vehicle. The officer banged on the car window until she finally awoke.

The officer told her to unlock the door. Instead, she climbed into the driver’s seat and peeled out, driving over the curb the officer was standing on and forcing him to quickly move out of the way. The car jumped the curb, traveled down in a retention pond. She smashed the car into both sides of the embankment and nearly struck another officer.

Officers pursued her onto Interstate 5, but the chase was called off after speeds neared 100 mph.

In addition, Wittus had been charged with possessing methamphetamine in a 2018 Island County case.

In court, Hancock said he hoped Wittus would get the help she needs in prison with substance abuse problems and that she dissociates with bad influences after she’s released.

More in News

South Whidbey resident Doug Hansen displays a large American flag Wednesday that once flew over the White House during the Jimmy Carter Administration. Photo by Kira Erickson/Whidbey News-Times
A day of firsts

In recognition of Inauguration Day, Whidbey Island man displays flag once flown over White House.

‘Blood-curdling screaming’ | Island Scanner

Island Scanner Dec. 25 - Jan. 1.

Democrats in the Washington State House are proposing to pay for transportation improvements partly by raising the gas tax by 18 cents. (Sound Publishing file photo)
House Democrats lay out massive $26B transportation package funded by gas tax hike

An 18-cent gas tax increase and a fee on carbon emissions would fund new roads and more.

Training in Coupeville schools puts suicide prevention in the Forefront

Parents and caregivers can sign up for upcoming classes for training to help prevent suicide.

District dedicated to natural resources holding election

A governmental body dedicated to protecting dirt and natural resources has an election Feb. 2.

Town mayor updates residents with annual address

Coupeville Mayor Molly Hughes took a look back on the year.

Members of the Oak Harbor High School DECA team, a business club supported by levy dollars, clear brush during a recent community clean up. A school levy is on the Feb. 9 ballot. Photo provided
$48.4 million Oak Harbor school levy on Febuary ballot

Ballots for the Oak Harbor Public Schools levy have started arriving for the Feb. 9 vote.

Market Manager Peg Tennant takes some measurements at the site of the Oak Harbor Farmers Market in preparation for the season opening in May 2017. The market has permanently closed after struggling to attract vendors and customers. File photo/Whidbey News-Times
Oak Harbor Farmers Market closes after more than 20 years

A new group is already planning for a new market this spring at Windjammer Park.

Man arrested at Walmart in Oak Harbor with stolen truck

An Anacortes business owner reported the truck as stolen. It was found at the Oak Harbor Walmart.

Most Read