FARMINGTON — One Farmington officer was doing his routine afternoon patrol Oct. 19 when he noticed a car he could tell was speeding in front of him. What he didn’t know was that the situation was much bigger than that.
In the car was a 6-foot-7-inch tall 325-pound Detroit man who would lead local officers on a foot pursuit that would end with several stuns from an officer’s Taser.
The patrolling officer was heading south on Farmington Road, near Maplenut Street, when he saw a speeding Mazda also traveling southbound just after 11 p.m. He clocked the vehicle at 60 mph in a 40-mph zone and activated his lights and siren, waiting for the car to stop, according to the report.
After stopping at a red light, the suspect turned down Eight Mile and finally stopped in the right lane, near a Speedway gas station. The suspect said he could not find his paperwork when the officer requested it. He told the officer he did have a driver’s license, but it was not with him at the time.
The suspect was asked to get out of the car, and when the officer attempted a routine pat down, the suspect began to get physical.
According to the report, the suspect turned around to face the officer and pushed him in the chest, then fled on foot toward the gas station. The officer called for backup and pursued the man, shouting out that, if the suspect did not stop, the officer would be forced to deploy his Taser.
The officer chased the man across Farmington Road and into the KFC restaurant before finally catching up to him.
“I was able to close the gap between us enough to effectively deploy my department-issued Taser,” the officer wrote in his report. “(He) was not stopping, so I aimed my Taser at (his) chest and deployed the probes.”
The probes hit the suspect’s right cheek and arm, and he dropped instantly, the report explained. However, the man still had the strength to immediately attempt to get up and run again.
The officer then had to deploy a second charge to keep the suspect on the ground, he reported.
Farmington Police Cmdr. Frank Demers said that having to deploy a Taser is not something they see often, though certain situations — like this one — call for it.
“This was a very large man he was dealing with,” Demers said. “Our officers are trained in using and handling (Tasers), and that includes knowing when and where. (He) was certainly in his rights to deploy his Taser with the situation he was involved in.”
The officer reported that, due to the man’s stature and apparent physical strength, he waited for backup to arrive before putting the suspect in handcuffs. Because the suspect continued to refuse to cooperate with the police, it took two officers to force his arms behind his back to be cuffed, officers reported.
Before being placed in the squad car, the suspect addressed the arresting officer by name, saying “You hit the big one … this is a huge arrest,” according to police.
Demers said the suspect’s comment was likely an intimidation ploy. The suspect also reportedly told officers that, if it wasn’t for the Taser debilitating him, someone would have ended up hurt.
“I would have fought him to the point (where) he would have to kill me or I would have killed him,” the suspect reportedly told officers en route to jail.
“They were just spur-of-the-moment statements. The jig was up; he was caught,” Demers said about the comments. “He might have been making himself seem like some premier criminal our officers were arresting … but our main concern was just taking him in custody, and he remains in custody.”
The suspect was given medical attention on the scene to remove the Taser prongs before being taken to the Oakland County Jail. He faces multiple charges, including marijuana possession, resisting an officer, fleeing and eluding, and a felony arrest warrant for “dangerous drugs.”
Demers added that the use of the Taser in this situation meant not only taking a suspect off the streets, but also protecting the city’s public safety officers.
“There’s not a question that this person was willing to (fight),” Demers said. “The fact of the case is that this person knew they were being stopped and that he was probably going back to prison for this violation, and he was probably willing to go above and beyond … including assaulting our officers.”
No officers were injured in the pursuit and arrest of the suspect.