Whidbey car chase leads over septic tank

When a driver being chased by a deputy came to a dead end on a Central Whidbey road, he didn’t stop.

Instead, he drove into a driveway and a yard of the nearest residence, damaging a septic tank and wedging the car into brush, according to court documents.

The man, later identified as Genio Fernandez Despain, ran into the blackberry bushes, leaving two unhappy passengers in the car behind, according to a report by a deputy with the Island County Sheriff’s Office.

A deputy later caught up with Despain and arrested him on suspicion of attempting to elude a police vehicle and driving without a license. Despain appeared in Island County Superior Court Monday, and the judge set his bail at $7,500.

The deputy’s report states that he was driving on Highway 20 just after midnight on Oct. 4 when he clocked an oncoming car at 72 mph in the 55 mph zone. The deputy pursued the car, which turned onto Libbey Road and traveled down the middle of the roadway.

The car made a sudden turn onto Skycrest Drive, quickly coming to a dead end. The car accelerated down a driveway of a residence, went into the backyard and drove over a septic tank, damaging a vent and landscaping. It finally traveled into brush and came to a stop, the report states.

Despain got out of the car and ran, crashing through the brush.

The deputy found two people left inside the car. One of them identified Despain as the driver and said he had yelled at him to stop. The other passenger was “flailing around and banging his head on the door and seat,” the deputy wrote.

The next day, a deputy arrested Despain, who had cuts and scrapes consistent with someone who ran through blackberry bushes, the deputy wrote. Despain denied driving the car and said the injuries were from roofing.

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