February 15, 2017TRI-CITY — A 27-year-old Leonard man led local police agencies on a long and convoluted chase Tuesday (Feb. 14), ending with a number of damaged police vehicles.
Imlay City Police Chief Scott Pike said officers responded at around 7:30 p.m. to the parking lot of Campbell's Local Harvest on north M-53, where a 28-year-old Imlay City woman had reported a stalker and possible assault.
Pike said Officers Cory Martin and David Rock arrived at the scene to find the woman locked in her vehicle and the male suspect outside.
"They talked to both the victim and the male suspect," said Pike. "The suspect was very uncooperative and drove off in his 2006 Ford F-350 with our officers in pursuit."
Pike said the suspect drove south on M-53 to M-21, where he turned left, traveling east to Brown City Rd., where he turned left (north) to Clear Lake Rd., then back to Van Dyke where Michigan State Police had placed spike strips at the intersection.
"The spike strip deflated the suspect's front drivers-side tire," Pike said, "but he continued to drive north on Van Dyke (M-53) on the flat tire and rim."
Pike said the man turned west on Burnside Rd. to Slattery Rd., going southbound to Stanton Lake Rd., where Almont Twp. Police had placed yet another spike strip.
Their efforts managed to deflate another tire but the suspect continued on to Lum Rd. and south on Summers Rd., where Lapeer County Sheriff's deputies attempted to box in the suspect's vehicle.
"At that point he rammed the sheriff's car," said Pike, "then went to Bowers Rd. and back to M-53."
From there, Pike said the suspect drove south to M-21, cutting through the Belle Valley Plaza parking lot, then south again on Van Dyke, beneath the Imlay City viaduct to Borland Rd., eventually making his way to Reek Rd.
"Once he was on Reek, he went off the road and into a cornfield, where he got stuck in the mud and was arrested by Sheriff's deputies."
Lapeer County Undersheriff Jeremy Howe joined the chase in Attica Township where he was just leaving a meeting.
Howe said deputies had to trudge through knee-deep mud, where the suspect continued to resist and began fighting with officers.
"One of our officers deployed a taser and the suspect went down to the ground, rolling around and was eventually subdued by deputies," said Howe.
Howe described the chase as "a very high risk situation," which could easily have resulted in injuries to other motorists or law enforcement officers.
As it was, Howe said at least two Sheriff's vehicles sustained damage during the chase.
Howe said the suspect had been an aquaintance of the victim, but they had not had contact for several years.
Howe added that the suspect had recently been stalking the woman, and on Tuesday followed her from her place of employment in Shelby Township, making numerous phone calls to her along the route to her home on N. Van Dyke.
It is believed that when the woman did not answer any of the calls, he decided to confront her in person.
Sheriff's deputies reported that the suspect entered the woman's driveway, while she continued to a nearby location she considered to be safe.
The victim then contacted a family member, who made contact with the suspect in the driveway and 911, requesting police response.
Howe said the suspect was transported to the Lapeer County Jail where he was lodged on a $10,000 cash bond.
As of this article, the suspect had not been arraigned.
However, Howe noted that the suspect had previously failed to appear on an unrelated arrest warrant for possession of narcotics in Almont Township.
Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.