Crime briefs of the year

C&G Newspapers | Published January 17, 2022

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Here’s a look back at some of the most interesting and bizarre local crime briefs from 2021:


Train hits vehicle
FERNDALE — A vehicle was hit by a train in Ferndale at 7:57 p.m. Jan. 23 near Hilton Road and East Saratoga Street.

According to Ferndale Police Department Community Engagement Officer Jill Mahlmeister, a vehicle driven by a 27-year-old Ann Arbor woman was traveling northbound on Hilton when she turned left and made a westbound turn onto the train track, which is just south of Nine Mile Road.

“The driver of the vehicle thought they were making a left turn onto East Saratoga, which is the first street south of the tracks,” she said. “It kind of curves. The driver got their vehicle stuck on the tracks. The driver quickly exited her vehicle. Before she could notify the authorities to stop any train traffic, there was an Amtrak that was coming northbound (toward) Hilton. They were able to slow down, but they still hit the vehicle on the track going about 20 miles per hour.”

Mahlmeister said she was told that no one was hurt in the crash.


Driver crashes into center median on I-696
MADISON HEIGHTS — The Michigan State Police believe that a driver intentionally crashed a vehicle into the center median on eastbound Interstate 696, near Dequindre Road, in Madison Heights early in the morning of Feb. 3, tying up traffic for several hours. 

The crash occurred around 2:50 a.m. and shut down the expressway at Couzens Avenue, toppling a light pole that fell over the east side, which was then struck by a second vehicle, and the second vehicle then struck by a third. There were no injuries. 

Police say the driver was under the influence of drugs and alcohol and had driven into the median on purpose before attempting to flee on foot, but the driver was then captured, and was being processed.

Police were investigating.


Steering wheel stolen from vehicle
ROYAL OAK — A complainant reported that sometime between 12:30 p.m. March 10 and 6:15 a.m. March 11, an unknown suspect broke the window of her vehicle and stole the steering wheel in the 2300 block of Barrett Avenue, near 10 Mile Road and Stephenson Highway.


Woman kicks at, spits on officers
BERKLEY — At approximately 4:19 a.m. April 3, a 34-year-old Detroit woman was arrested by police for operating while intoxicated, assault and malicious destruction of property near Woodward Avenue and West Webster Road.

According to a report from the Berkley Public Safety Department, police observed a vehicle traveling abnormally slowly on Woodward. The vehicle reportedly was driving at a speed of 19 mph. It later made a stop past a limit line at a red light.

Upon making contact with the woman, the officer detected an odor of intoxicants and observed that she was speaking with slurred speech. When asked to recite the alphabet, according to police, the woman answered with “E as in Echo, F as in (expletive) you, G as in get out of my face, H as in Hell.”

A breath test resulted in a sample of 0.21% blood alcohol content. The woman attempted to resist the arrest, including kicking one officer and spitting in another’s eyes, according to police. After she was placed in the rear of a patrol car, she reportedly kicked out a camera and a light in the vehicle.


Woman punched in face while sleeping
BERKLEY — At around 4 a.m. April 25, a Royal Oak woman was allegedly assaulted at a Berkley home on Royal Avenue.

The police report states that the 22-year-old woman told police at the Public Safety Department that she was hanging out with a friend from work, a 28-year-old Berkley man, the previous day and later went back to his home. After they fell asleep, she reportedly was woken up with a punch to the face by the man’s ex-girlfriend, a 26-year-old Berkley woman. The Royal Oak woman reportedly left the home after the punch.

According to police, the man told them he previously dated the woman, though they had been separated for two months. She still was living in the home at the time of the incident, but was in the process of moving out.

The Royal Oak woman told police that she was pursuing charges against the Berkley woman. The Public Safety Department had heard from the Berkley woman’s lawyer, who stated that he would be sending a written statement on the matter.


Man takes Red Bull from 7-Eleven

BERKLEY — At 11:20 p.m. May 10, officers were called to a 7-Eleven store in the 3500 block of West 12 Mile Road for a report of third-degree retail fraud, according to the Berkley Public Safety Department. The clerk told police that a man came into the store and loaded a red basket with items. He then went to the clerk to ask for a slice of pizza. When the clerk went to retrieve the pizza, the suspect ran out the door and fled in a white GMC Envoy.

The items taken by the man were 20 Red Bull energy drinks, one box of Tampax and one quart of motor oil. The total value of the property was $62.78.

The Public Safety Department was able to identify a suspect, but the case was closed due to a lack of victim cooperation.


Man crashes moped
HAZEL PARK — Police arrested a 41-year-old Hazel Park man who was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol after he lost control of his moped while driving and crashed May 30 at around 8:27 p.m. at Tucker and Tawas avenues. The suspect was taken to the hospital for treatment. Police were awaiting blood toxicology results.


Royal Oak police make arrest for disorderly conduct at post office
ROYAL OAK — At approximately 4:30 p.m. June 22, Royal Oak police responded to a report of a disorderly man in the lobby of the Royal Oak post office, 200 W. Second St., near Washington Avenue and 11 Mile Road.

Postal employees told police the man was denied a money order because he did not have identification, after which he became upset, yelling at the employees and saying he was going to “shoot the place up,” according to the report.

Police advised the 54-year-old Ferndale resident on trespassing and arrested him for disorderly conduct.

On June 23, 44th District Court Magistrate Donald Chisholm arraigned the man on one count of disturbing the peace, a misdemeanor punishable by 90 days in jail and/or a $500 fine. Chisholm gave the man a $10,000 personal bond with conditions of no contact with the post office, no alcohol or marijuana use, and to enter into pretrial services within 24 hours.


Customer reportedly sprays fire extinguisher at Pronto
ROYAL OAK — At approximately 1 a.m. June 26, a complainant reported that a customer sprayed a fire extinguisher in the bathroom at Pronto, 608 S. Washington Ave., south of Sixth Street.


Man arrested for drag racing
BERKLEY — A 21-year-old Rochester Hills man was arrested for drag racing and fleeing from police at 10:02 p.m. July 25.

According to a police report, an officer was near Woodward Avenue and 12 Mile Road when four vehicles approached at a high rate of speed. A radar captured a measurement of 79 miles per hour. The vehicles were decelerating as police approached, but when they passed by the officer, one began accelerating again. Police attempted a traffic stop of the vehicle, which was traveling at more than 100 miles per hour. The vehicle drove through a red light, at which point the officer terminated the pursuit for safety reasons.

Two minutes later, the Public Safety Department was notified by Royal Oak police of an accident at Woodward Avenue and Normandy Road. When an officer arrived at the scene, the officer identified a BMW that was the same vehicle that had fled police earlier. There was no driver in the vehicle, but a man later approached police saying that he was the owner.

The 21-year-old told police that a different BMW was the vehicle that fled from the Berkley officer, one that looked like his but was a faster automobile. The man claimed he was struck by that vehicle. He was taken into custody by police.

A witness at the scene stated that the BMW weaved in and out of traffic, cut her off and collided with another vehicle. The BMW hit several signs and curbs before coming to rest at a gas station. She said she saw a person get out of the vehicle and run away from the scene.


Woman arrested for breaking into house
HAZEL PARK — A home in the 1400 block of East Woodward Heights Boulevard was broken into around 3:28 a.m. Aug. 14. The home belongs to a Hazel Park man, age 53. The house was broken into by damaging the door lock. A crutch was stolen and later recovered. The suspect is a Romulus woman, 25. She was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor — breaking and entering (illegal entry). Police said she had previously been in a dating relationship with the victim.

Police were investigating.


Drunken man falls off moped 
HAZEL PARK — On Aug. 27, around 8:30 p.m., Hazel Park police arrested a Hazel Park man, 62, who was riding his moped in the 22900 block of Dequindre Road and fell off it while turning because he was reportedly drunk, with a blood alcohol content of 0.19%. He was arrested and charged with a felony, operating under the influence-third offense. 

Police were investigating.


Police arrest man for possession of swords
ROYAL OAK — At approximately 12:15 a.m. Sept. 9, Royal Oak police responded to a call about a terminated employee sitting in his vehicle in the parking lot of ProMed Delivery Co., 1316 N. Edison Ave., near North Campbell and 12 Mile roads.

Police spoke with the 52-year-old Detroit resident, who stated that he wanted to pick up his last paycheck. According to the police report, the employer stated that his paycheck was mailed more than a week ago and the employer wanted police to advise him about trespassing.

Officers observed two 19-inch swords behind the passenger seat of the vehicle, which the man stated were for protection, according to the report.

Police advised the man about trespassing and arrested him for carrying concealed weapons.


Ring doorbell camera stolen
ROYAL OAK — At approximately noon Oct. 26, a complainant reported that someone stole the complainant’s Ring doorbell camera in the 700 block of West 12 Mile Road, west of Crooks Road.


Vehicle runs 6 stop signs before arrest
BERKLEY — At 8:05 p.m. Dec. 3, a 25-year-old Detroit man was arrested for fleeing and eluding and possession of a barbiturate near Oakshire Avenue and Catalpa Drive.

The report states that an officer on patrol noticed a running vehicle parked on the side of the road on Bacon Avenue. The vehicle was unoccupied and had heavy damage. The officer left the area to observe if someone was going to drive the vehicle away and, if so, to conduct a traffic stop. Once it did, police saw the vehicle drive through a stop sign.

Police attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but the driver did not comply. The vehicle continued on, where it reportedly drove head-on toward another vehicle that was traveling southbound on Oakshire. Police reportedly were advised to immobilize the vehicle if possible. The driver was headed toward the outdoor seated area for the Berkley Common restaurant on Griffith Avenue, according to the police report. A scout car was positioned in front of the area.

After multiple attempts, police were able to stop the vehicle by pinning it near the restaurant with patrol vehicles. The pursuit lasted more than two minutes and covered 1.1 miles, according to police.

The driver was ordered out of the vehicle at gunpoint, police said. The man reportedly said he ran because he had some marijuana. A search of the vehicle found an open bottle of gin and barbiturates suspected to be valium and lorazepam. The man submitted a breath test of 0.106% blood alcohol content.

The man also was arrested for having an open container of alcohol and operating while intoxicated.