San Bruno man took a high-speed test run

In a case of a test drive gone awry, a San Bruno man appeared in court Monday on felony charges of false imprisonment and dissuading a witness for allegedly test-driving a BMW at speeds of 120 mph while the car dealer sat in horror in the passenger seat.

Prosecutors say that on June 10, Mikhail Bukhman, 21, walked into Cammisa Motors on Carolan Avenue in Burlingame and inquired about a 2003 BMW that was for sale. While test-driving the car, Bukhman drove onto southbound U.S. Highway 101 before allegedly switching lanes erratically and reaching 120 mph, prosecutors say.

The salesman tried dialing a number on his cell phone, but Bukhman allegedly slapped the phone from his hand, prosecutors say. Bukhman then drove onto the Third Avenue exit in San Mateo.

“He would not allow the victim to unlock the door and get out of the car,” Deputy District Attorney Kimberly Feldman said.

After exiting Highway 101, Bukhman allegedly made a sharp U-turn at Second Avenue and Humboldt Street before the car salesman jumped out of the car and dialed 911 on his cell phone. Bukhman was later arrested but denied driving erratically. The salesman was not injured.

“The suspect claimed the victim exaggerated his driving,” she said.

A sales manager at the dealership declined to detail what happened in the car.

“In light of everything that is alleged and pending, there are not a lot of positive things I can say,” he said. “I have plenty of negative things to say. But the salesperson is working directly with police.”

Bukhman’s attorney, Charles Smith, did not return calls for comment. Bukhman faces two felony counts of false imprisonment and dissuading a witness and two misdemeanor counts of battery and reckless driving. The four counts add up to three years in state prison, said Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti.

At the Monday preliminary hearing, the court set his arraignment for July 10. He has pleaded not guilty and posted $50,000 bail.

bfoley@examiner.com

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