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Macomb Township

October 22, 2013

Man with ‘survival knife’ tries to steal bar patrons’ money

By Jeremy Selweski
C & G Staff Writer

Mark Sawicki

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — A would-be thief wielding a large knife was arrested by police after attempting to rob customers of a local bar as they were leaving for the night.

According to Lt. John Michalke of the Macomb County Sheriff’s Department, at 12:17 a.m. on Oct. 18, deputies from the sheriff’s Macomb Township substation were dispatched on a report of a disturbance near The Hub Sports Bistro, located at the corner of 21 Mile and Garfield roads. The caller stated that a man armed with a big knife was fighting with another man in the parking lot of the strip mall.

Upon arrival, the deputies found the suspect — Mark Sawicki, 23, of Macomb Township — wrestling with a man in front of The Hub. They also located Sawicki’s weapon on the ground near the ongoing scuffle.

“It was a survival type of knife with a fixed blade, and it was wrapped in a sheath,” Michalke said. “Our deputies saw the knife, so one of them picked it up and threw it out of the suspect’s reach.”

Sawicki was restrained by deputies and handcuffed. During their investigation, they learned that the 911 caller, a 21-year-old Macomb Township man, had just left the bar and was sitting in his vehicle when Sawicki approached him and started a conversation.

“The suspect put his hand in his pocket to imply that he had a weapon and asked the guy for money,” Michalke said. “After the guy said no, the suspect demanded that he hand over his wallet.”

The victim managed to put his car into gear and drive a short distance away from Sawicki. He called 911 and decided to stay in the parking lot to wait for the police to arrive. He then watched as Sawicki attempted to rob a second man, only moments later.

“A couple was walking out of the bar when the suspect approached them,” Michalke said. “They had a similar exchange of words, with the suspect again trying to take the guy’s wallet, and a brief fistfight ensued. The suspect walked away, but the guy he was fighting with followed him.”

As the 36-year-old Warren man drew closer to Sawicki, the suspect drew his knife on him. The man then tackled Sawicki to the ground and restrained him until deputies arrived on the scene. Sawicki was arrested and transported to the Macomb County Jail.

“The suspect later told our deputies that he was only panhandling and that he carries the knife on him for protection,” Michalke said. “He denied using the weapon to try to rob anyone.”

Michalke added that while Sawicki’s most recent place of residence was in Macomb Township, he is currently homeless. The suspect’s court-appointed attorney, Jason Malkiewicz, could not be reached for comment at press time.

Sawicki was arraigned on Oct. 18 at the 41-A District Court in Shelby Township. He was charged with assault with intent to rob while armed, a felony with a maximum life sentence, and assault with intent to rob while unarmed, a 15-year felony. Magistrate Michael Osaer set Sawicki’s bond at $100,000 cash or surety.

At press time, Sawicki had not yet posted bond and was still being held at the county jail. His next court date, a preliminary exam, is scheduled for Oct. 31 at 1:30 p.m. in 41-A District Court.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Jeremy Selweski at jSelweski@candgnews.com or at (586)218-5004.