WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — A 51-year-old man, out of custody after posting 2 $2,000 bonds while awaiting trial on theft charges in 2 separate Whatcom County Superior Court cases, is back in custody suspected of attempting to run over a Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office deputy and an Everson Police officer while ramming the officer’s vehicle to avoid being arrested for shoplifting.
According to affidavits of probable cause prepared by Lynden Police and Everson Police and submitted into court by prosecutors, Anthony Michel Santoro Lake was identified by witnesses as having left a grocery store in Lynden about 8:30pm on February 21st with over $800 worth of items without paying. Witnesses provided Lynden Police with a detailed description of the suspect vehicle.
Soon after, a Lynden Police officer spotted a vehicle matching the description southbound on the Guide Meridian and attempted to pull it over by activating the police vehicle’s emergency lights and siren. Instead of pulling over, it accelerated southbound on Guide Meridian. The officer terminated the pursuit, turning off the emergency lights and siren and slowing down while continuing to maintain visual contact.
The vehicle headed east on E Pole Road and Everson Police were advised to watch for it.
An Everson Police officer pulled in behind the suspect vehicle eastbound on Everson Goshen Road and it accelerated, passing vehicles in a no-passing zone and turned east on Robinson Street and then south on Mission Road. The vehicle was observed at over 80mph in a 25mph zone and running stop signs. The officer activated the police vehicle’s emergency lights and siren and the suspect vehicle accelerated to 110mph southbound on Mission Road. The officer terminated the pursuit while attempting to maintain visual contact.
A WCSO deputy reported he had located the vehicle at the dead end of Mission Road, south of E Smith Road. While the Everson Police officer and the deputy approached the suspect vehicle with their emergency lights on, the suspect vehicle’s lights turned on and it drove toward the approaching law enforcement vehicles.
The deputy’s vehicle blocked the suspect vehicle and the deputy got out on foot. The suspect vehicle then accelerated and rammed the Everson Police vehicle with the officer in the driver’s seat. While the suspect vehicle continued to try and “drive forward through my patrol car,” the officer was able to get out.
The officer and the deputy were attempting to remove the suspect from the vehicle when it accelerated in reverse and then forward toward the deputy who had to move quickly to avoid being hit. The officer also had to take a position by the deputy’s vehicle to avoid being hit. The suspect vehicle fled west on E Smith Road with the officer and deputy in pursuit, but it was quickly out of visual contact.
The suspect vehicle was then spotted doing 76mph in a 45mph on E Smith Road, running the stop light at Guide Meridian while turning southbound. It was said to be going over 100mph while another deputy pursued and was seen running another stop light.
The suspect vehicle was seen pulling into a Meridian Street hotel parking lot in Bellingham and the suspect was seen fleeing into the hotel.
The Everson Police officer and WCSO deputy arrived and located the suspect hiding in a closet in 1 of the motel’s rooms. He was taken into custody and transported to the Whatcom County Jail.
Lake was booked and now faces the following felony charges in court.
- 2 counts of 3rd degree assault of a law enforcement officer
- attempting to elude a police vehicle
- 2nd degree theft
As of February 24th, Lake remained in custody pending being able to post a $25,000 bond or $2,500 cash.