Sun, March 07

Man accused in 2019 VOC bank threat has trial date

Michael Willis Chase

Michael Willis Chase

CAMP VERDE — A man accused of making terroristic threats in a 2019 Village of Oak Creek bank incident finally has a trial date set.

Michael Willis Chase, 49, is due to face a jury trial on several charges Tuesday through Friday, March 2-5, with Superior Court John Napper presiding. Chase is due to appear before Napper in the Camp Verde Courthouse for a final pretrial conference at 4 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 23.

Chase was released from the Yavapai County Detention Center on Sept. 24 by Napper, with a lengthy list of conditions. He had been in jail since Nov. 21, 2019, when he was arrested on several weapons charges.

His charges included misconduct involving a simulated explosive device, false reporting of an emergency, disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property.

The charges were from an alleged incident in which the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office says Chase went to the Chase Bank location in the Village of Oak Creek, along State Route 179, at the intersection at Verde Valley School Road.

Deputies were dispatched to the bank regarding a man inside yelling and claiming he had a bomb, according to a YCSO report. Chase, the suspect, allegedly had walked into Chase Bank demanding staff close his account, in addition to making statements about possessing a bomb.

He also allegedly told the bank employees that he had a second bomb inside his van, parked outside next to the bank. Chase was wearing a poncho that covered most of his upper body and appeared to be carrying a cell phone and a box. Bank employees activated an alarm and evacuated the building, with law enforcement arriving soon thereafter and securing the area.

A U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officer was the first to make contact with the suspect, attempting to subdue him with pepper spray, which had minimal effect, but a YCSO deputy soon arrived to assist. A Taser stun gun was deployed.

A Department of Public Safety bomb squad later determined there were no explosive devices inside the bank or Chase’s van.

Chase was ordered to participate in a program designed to restore him to competency to face charges. His competency has been determined to be restored, per court documents.

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