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Case advances for former Albemarle lawman accused of assaulting suspect after high-speed chase

Criminal charges against a former Albemarle County lawman accused of bloodying a handcuffed suspect at the end of a 100 mph chase will advance to a higher court, a judge ruled Thursday.

Albemarle General District Judge Matthew J. Quatrara ruled that there was sufficient probable cause to certify the two charges, including malicious wounding, a felony, against William Anthony Mikolay, who left the Albemarle County Police Department in 2016.

Now an Augusta County sheriff’s deputy, the 30-year-old Mikolay is accused of lacerating 39-year-old Adam Ryan Martin of Gordonsville after tracking him from Waynesboro, passing over spike strips and ending up on a bank of the Hardware River in southern Albemarle. He’s also accused of pummeling Martin’s passenger, 37-year-old Tina Marie Lang.

The usually talkative judge said little about his decision other than saying the commonwealth met the standard for bringing the case to a grand jury, that there was “probable cause” to seek indictments. The ruling was preceded by incredulity from one of Mikolay’s lawyers, Peter Baruch.

“Their case is a mess, judge,” said Baruch. “It’s in controversy with itself.”

High on Baruch’s list of outrages was that on Oct. 4, six days after the chase, Martin allegedly told a Virginia State Police investigator that he couldn’t recall what happened. But on Oct. 10, Martin alleged that Mikolay caused his head injury.

“They put on a multitime felon, he’s got multiple drugs in his system, and he’s told conflicting stories,” said Baruch.

What neither side disputes is that on Sept. 29 Mikolay and at least one other Augusta deputy were chasing Martin’s black Infiniti sedan at speeds topping 100 mph on Interstate 64. Long before Albemarle officers pitched in by deploying spike strips that destroyed one or more tires, the chase began, according to the passenger, at a Waynesboro game room. The pursuit reportedly touched five jurisdictions before reaching Red Hill Road where the rim-ridden sedan veered off the highway and onto a utility right-of-way near Dudley Mountain Road. Martin hinted that the last part was no accident.

“I did the fiber optic cables there,” Martin told the court, “so I knew that area.”

While Martin’s prior career as a cable installer may have given him an escape path, dense summertime foliage ultimately stopped his sedan.

“They basically ran out of room to continue driving,” testified Albemarle County officer Jason Taylor. “Too much undergrowth.”

It was Taylor’s body-worn camera that provided some of the most striking evidence against Mikolay.

In a courtroom crowded with curious lawyers and visiting officials, including Augusta Sheriff Donald Smith, visitors craned toward a screen playing the footage from the camera, a scene lit only by a handheld flashlight. The visuals were too dim and distant to register with many in the gallery, but some audio came roaring through.

“Tina, they beat the fuck out of me,” Martin could be heard exclaiming.

“They did me too,” Lang replied.

Apologizing for the blood, prosecutor Shannon Neal showed pictures of the injuries sustained by Martin and Lang. He had a bloody laceration atop his head; she had red swelling that later darkened under one eye as a bruise.

Lang said she was dutifully sticking her hands through the passenger door, cracked ajar, as Mikolay approached.

“He flung the door open and then punched me in the face and threw me to the ground and kicked me two or three times in the ribs,” she testified.

Martin testified that when he woke up in a hospital his head was aching from what he thought was a whack from Mikolay’s flashlight.

“I remember him coming down the hill and saying, ‘You stupid motherfucker,’ and then hitting me on the head.”

Martin showed the court a scar atop his head and said that, in addition to sutures and staples, he received a blood transfusion.

Another witness said that Martin’s injuries were the result of his own resistance to arrest. Augusta deputy Mark Stutes testified that he left Mikolay behind with the errant Infiniti and its passenger so he could run ahead and detain Martin.

“He continued to flee from me,” said Stutes. “When he got an arm’s length from me he balled up a fist and appeared to be about to make a decision. It was at that point I deployed my Taser.”

Stutes said that after Tasing him in his back Martin fell “face forward” onto a rock. Stutes said he got one handcuff onto Martin, but then Martin began pulling both men toward the rocky water of a nearby “creek,” the Hardware River.

“At that point I let go of the handcuff and attempted to tackle him,” said Stutes.

The men ended up in the water.

“The Taser really didn’t have an effect,” said Stutes. “I did fear for my life.”

At that point, Stutes said, Mikolay arrived on scene. Stutes said his flashlight was under water and that he never saw Mikolay deploy that device or anything else to strike Martin.

In an apparent effort to undercut Stutes, the prosecutor noted that Mikolay was Stutes’ supervisor.

Likewise, defense attorney Baruch attempted to impeach Martin by noting that at least three of Martin’s dozen-plus criminal convictions involve lying or stealing.

Baruch also suggested that Lang, an unbelted passenger, could have bruised her face when the car ground to a halt.

And back and forth it went.

Both Martin and Lang gave their testimony wearing jail jumpsuits.

On Feb. 8, Martin pleaded guilty in Augusta Circuit Court to drug possession and eluding for the incident and got a 1 1/2-year active jail sentence. He recently got another three months on a fentanyl possession conviction in Fluvanna County. Lang was arrested twice in December, once in Orange County on a pending charge of delivering drugs to an inmate and for a third offense of manufacturing drugs in Greene County.

Mikolay was an Albemarle County police officer from July 2014 until September 2016, according to the county’s human resources department. The criminal charges against him will be considered by an Albemarle County grand jury that meets on April 1.


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