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The original item was published from 11/4/2022 2:03:06 PM to 11/19/2022 12:00:02 AM.

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Posted on: November 4, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Oak Harbor Police Department Press Release Regarding James Kiesel

Photo of James Kiesel Kiesel had a felony warrant for an Arson he committed in Oak Harbor in 2020, where he used an incendiary device to burn a vehicle belonging to a subject he had a disagreement with.  Additionally, the Skagit County Sheriff’s office had active warrants for several other felony charges for Kiesel.

Law Enforcement was aware of the vehicle Kiesel was driving and made plans to attempt to arrest him when he returned to his vehicle and started to leave, by using law enforcement vehicles to try and block his vehicle in.

At approximately 12:30 pm, Kiesel was observed walking to his car, then getting in and backing up in the parking lot.  Law Enforcement vehicles moved into the parking lot to block his car in.  They did so, but Kiesel started manuevering his car by turning the wheels and driving backwards, ramming one law enforcement vehicle.  He continued spinning his wheels backwards, pushing the law enforcement vehicle.  He continued in this manner, colliding with another vehicle parked in the lot.  He accelerated backwards, going over a curb and driving through a wood fence into another parking lot, where he struck and damaged another law enforcement vehicle.   He then drove through the grass between two buildings and onto Whidbey, where he accelerated at high-speed going west on Whidbey.  Based on several factors, including current Washington State Law prohibiting a pursuit for this situation, law enforcement did not pursue his vehicle.

The suspect had a pistol in his hand while he was driving and wrecking into the police vehicles.

Several vehicles and a fence were damaged, but fortunately no one was injured due to Kiesel’s reckless and dangerous actions to avoid arrest.

Although there’s no immediate threat to the community, Law Enforcement considers James Kiesel armed and dangerous.  While we’d prefer Kiesel turn himself in to authorities, his actions indicate he doesn’t intend to do so.

The Oak Harbor Police Department is working with two community members and the management of apartment complex, all of whom received damage to property they own as a result of Kiesel’s actions to avoid arrest.

Press release by – Chief Kevin Dresker

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