Suspects identified following arrests, police chase in Cottage Grove

Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney says two people are in custody following a chase ending in Cottage Grove and involving gun shots being fired at pursuing deputies.

Michael D. Parks, 38, and Amber R. Virnig, 30, currently are in the Dane County Jail. Records show Parks was released from prison to extended supervision in 2018 after felony convictions that included fourth offense operating while intoxicated.

Deputies said that during the chase, they saw a laser dots on the windshield aimed at their squad.

Mahoney says deputies later retrieved a handgun with a laser sight and an Airsoft rifle from the car.

Mahoney said during the chase Virnig was driving and Parks was in the passenger seat.

"I can tell you, hearing the stories from the deputies who were in pursuit, it was extremely scary," Mahoney says.

Mahoney says no gun shots were fired by any responding law enforcement officer.

Mahoney says the chase began after a routine traffic stop in Pleasant Springs was thwarted when the suspects took off in their car. Mahoney says road spikes were used to halt the Toyota Prius in Cottage Grove, and the suspects ran.

Parks was arrested some hours later on homeowner Doug Kinney's deck.

"Somebody had spotted him at a park down this way and he ran through the woods and they tracked him here," Kinney says. "They weren't sure if he was...trying to break into my home or not. From what I saw, it looked he was done," Kinney says.

Authorities say Virnig was arrested some time later in another neighborhood near the home of a resident who asked to be identified only as Nick.

"I mean, these people were shooting at police. You know, that's pretty hard core," he says.

Mahoney says deputies attempted to stop and question Parks Sunday, but he took off in a car and deputies discontinued their pursuit of him.

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