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Madison Heights

March 4, 2013

Second suspect caught in car- wash beating

Police continue search for final suspect

By Andy Kozlowski
C & G Staff Writer

MADISON HEIGHTS — Police have arrested another person suspected in an attack on two men at a local car wash that occurred last month.

Jason Eric Morgan, 29, of Clinton Township, was arraigned by Magistrate James Patterson in Madison Heights 43rd District Court Feb. 21. He is charged with two counts of robbery armed, punishable by up to life in prison, and two counts of assault with intent to do great bodily harm, less than murder, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, or a $5,000 fine. He is being held on $1.5 million cash or surety bond.

The original incident occurred around 11:11 p.m. on Feb. 15, when an off-duty Madison Heights police officer chanced upon what appeared to be a suspicious vehicle, parked in the dark alley of a Walgreen at 11 Mile and John R.

The officer decided to move in and see what was up. That’s when he observed, at the neighboring Super Six Car Wash, in the 26000 block of John R, an attack in progress.

Unknown suspects had surrounded a person in a self-serve car wash stall and appeared to be hitting him with some sort of object.

The officer called fellow police. The suspects turned and fled, hopping a wall to the north that separates the Super Six Car Wash from the Walgreen. It turned out the vehicle sitting in the alley with its lights out was their getaway vehicle.

The officer relayed a description of the suspect vehicle, including license plate information, to police dispatch. Police reinforcements and firefighters/paramedics arrived at the car wash in short order.

Two victims were found, both 35-year-old male residents of Rochester Hills. Both had been hit multiple times with baseball bats and were delivered to Royal Oak Beaumont for treatment of their wounds.

It turns out, not all of the suspects had boarded the fleeing vehicle. It appears Morgan was left behind, police said. He then visited neighboring houses, claiming he had been jumped and he needed to make a phone call. The owner of the first home he visited called 911 for him, which caused him to flee. At the second home, he made his call to arrange for transportation.

The 911 call was how police were tipped off, leading to Morgan’s arrest on Feb. 20.

“We didn’t get him that night, but we were able to confirm who he was, and with that information, we were able to place him at the scene of the crime and obtain warrants,” said Madison Heights Police Lt. Robert Anderson.

The victims had described the suspects as a trio of white men in hooded sweatshirts, all in their early 20s.

Shawn Patrick Nesbitt, 28, of Clinton Township, was the first suspect who was arrested, found when police located the suspect vehicle. He was arraigned by Magistrate Kimberly Wilson in Madison Heights 43rd District Court Feb. 19.

He is also charged with two counts of robbery armed, punishable by up to life in prison, and two counts of assault with intent to do great bodily harm, less than murder, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, or a $5,000 fine. Like Morgan, Nesbitt is being held on a $1.5 million cash or surety bond.

As for the motives of the three men, only a wallet was taken from one of the victims, one of which had been released from the hospital at press time, and the other remained in hospital care.

“It appears to be a retaliation of some type,” Anderson said, noting the brazen brutality of the act, “but the victims were not the intended target.”

In other words, it would appear the suspects beat up the wrong people, he said. Now the search continues for the remaining suspect.

Anyone with information on these or other incidents can contact Madison Heights detectives at (248) 585-2100.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Andy Kozlowski at akozlowski@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1104.