SUV rolls over during police chase

Alleged drunk driver flees cops in Oak Bluffs after incident outside The Tabernacle.

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Skid marks and damage to a fence can still be seen from the early-morning crash at the intersection of East Chop Drive and New York Ave.

Oak Bluffs Police pursued a speeding SUV early Thursday morning after it swerved around a cruiser and did a doughnut on Lake Avenue. The chase ended when the SUV collided with a fence and a road sign, then flipped three times before landing upright near Sunset Lake. The motorist was identified as 28-year-old Micah Washington of Brockton. At the scene, Washington allegedly told officers he was “[expletive] up” and allegedly said, “Just take me to jail, man,” a report indicates. Washington was taken to Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, and subsequently arrested.

Oak Bluffs Police Sgt. Michael Marchand said the driver, identified as Washington in the report, did not appear to have sustained serious injury.

Events were set in motion just before midnight Wednesday when Oak Bluffs Police responded to a report of an altercation between a man and a woman near the Tabernacle, where the woman had yelled for help.

On Central Avenue, officers encountered a Toyota 4Runner blocking the road. The Toyota swerved around them, spun its tires, and, according to Sgt. Marchand, nearly hit parked cars doing a doughnut. Police pursued, and the Toyota failed to heed lights and a siren, a report indicates. Officer Timothy Millerick reported the cruiser’s speed was 51 mph and estimated the Toyota was traveling at 60 mph.

“After approximately a quarter-mile, the SUV went across the double yellow lines into the oncoming lane of travel and off the road,” a report states. “The SUV drove through two sections of fencing, the cement posts, and a 25 mph street sign … When the SUV hit the grass at the fence line, all four tires were in the air. The SUV then rolled over three times, striking an electrical box owned by Eversource in Sunset Park across from Our Market.”

Police could not initially find the woman at the Tabernacle. Police later found her elsewhere. She told police Washington wanted something from inside the Toyota, but she tried to leave instead of granting him access. Washington allegedly reached inside the Toyota and hung on the door while the woman drove around the Tabernacle with Washington hanging off the vehicle. Because he wouldn’t let go, the woman told police, she stopped and exited the Toyota. Washington then allegedly got inside the Toyota and took off with it, she told police. According to the report, she said there was no physical altercation between the two of them, and Washington did not have permission to take the Toyota.

Oak Bluffs Police charged Washington with drinking and driving, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, use of a motor vehicle without authority, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, speeding, failure to stop for police, a marked lanes violation, a seatbelt violation, and three counts of destruction of property.

Sgt. Marchand told The Times the charge of use of a motor vehicle without authority is a step below actual car theft.

Washington pleaded not guilty in Edgartown District Court on Thursday, according to his attorney Charles Morano, who said Washington was released on personal recognizance.