Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Sheriff's Office

Firearm Discharged During Vehicle Pursuit

September 01, 2020
Elise Schaffer, PIO, (608) 284-6142
Sheriff's Office


September 1, 2020 – On Monday, August 31st, 2020, at approximately 11:23 pm a Dane County Sheriff’s Deputy initiated a traffic stop on a tan 2004 Toyota Prius hatchback on County Highway N near Koshkonong Road in the Township of Pleasant Springs.  After the deputy made contact with the two occupants, they drove away northbound on County Highway N and a vehicle pursuit was initiated.  During the vehicle pursuit, the suspects fired multiple rounds from a firearm at the pursuing deputies.  The vehicle continued northbound on County Highway N and entered into the Village of Cottage Grove where the Village of Cottage Grove Police Department successfully deployed stop sticks resulting in the vehicle becoming disabled at Progress Drive.  The two suspects then fled on foot into a wooded area nearby. 

An extensive area search was conducted with assistance from multiple law enforcement agencies in Dane County, including UAV operators and K9 handlers.  At this time, the suspects have not been located.  The first suspect is described as a male white in his late 30s with blonde hair and blue eyes approximately 5’10” tall and 190 pounds wearing shorts and a short-sleeved shirt.  The second suspect is described as a female white approximately 30 years of age with brown hair and brown eyes approximately 5’08” tall and 120 pounds wearing a long-sleeve type shirt, pants, and eye glasses. 

The Dane County Sheriff’s Office is actively investigating this incident.  If you have information regarding this crime or the suspects, please call our non-emergency line at (608) 255-2345 or the Dane County tip line at (608) 284-6900.  In case of an emergency, please dial 911. 


September 1, 2020 - Both suspects are now in custody. Deputies first arrested Michael D. Parks, age 38 of Madison, just before 7:00 am on the 200 block of Windham Hill in the Village of Cottage Grove. At approximately 9:00 am, Amber R. Virnig, age 30 of Mauston, was arrested on Progress Drive in Cottage Grove. Parks was first transported to a local hospital for a medical evaluation before being booked in to the Dane County Jail on an active parole warrant. Virnig was booked on Eluding and Resisting. This is an ongoing investigation and additional charges are expected.

The Dane County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit recovered several shell casings along CTH N, just north of I-90. An airsoft gun, closely resembling an automatic weapon, was also recovered from the suspects’ vehicle.