From the left, Bloomfield Township Police Chief Scott McCanham stands with construction workers Zac Holman, Scott McCall and Jeff Steele, flanked by Officer Anthony Woycehoski. The men received a civilian honor for their efforts to assist Woycehoski with an arrest last spring.

From the left, Bloomfield Township Police Chief Scott McCanham stands with construction workers Zac Holman, Scott McCall and Jeff Steele, flanked by Officer Anthony Woycehoski. The men received a civilian honor for their efforts to assist Woycehoski with an arrest last spring.

Photo provided by Sgt. Dan Brown, of the Bloomfield Township Police Department


Construction workers honored for their role in arrest

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published February 11, 2019

Advertisement

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — It took the better part of a year for the Bloomfield Township Police Department to coax three construction workers to come by for a cup of coffee and a handshake after their heroic acts last spring.

They were just too busy, working construction.

Sgt. Dan Brown said Scott McCall, Jeff Steele and Zac Holman joined officers Jan. 30 at the police station to each receive a Distinguished Citizen Award for helping officers catch up with a suspect on the run at the end of last May.

“These three gentlemen were working on the new Aldi at Village of Bloomfield, and they saw some police action,” Brown said. “Officers were chasing after a suspect darting in and out of traffic on Telegraph, near the construction site.”

The suspect, he said, had been spotted nearby by an officer who recognized him as someone who was wanted for violating a personal protection order, a probation stipulation from a previous case.

“The officer was trying to stop him when he spotted him near Bloomfield Place apartments, and the guy took off running,” Brown said.

McCall, a heavy machinery operator with Superior Excavating of Auburn Hills, said he remembers the day well. When a fellow ran onto the job site wearing black pants and a black poncho on the swelteringly hot day, he knew something was off.

“I heard the sirens coming, so I looked around me to see if maybe someone had heat exhaustion and there was maybe (an ambulance) coming,” McCall said. “I see this guy running right at me, and I can hear the police yelling, ‘Stop!’ And I’m there in my loader with a trench in front of me and a huge pile of sand behind me.”

McCall started moving his loader toward the trench and back, blocking the suspect from any level ground that would allow him to keep up his pace. The suspect opted to try to run around the huge sand pile and off to one of the old abandoned parking structures on the site.

“I knew if he got in there, it was going to be hard to find him. (Police) would have to bring the dogs out and all that,” McCall recalled.

Just then, McCall’s colleague, Steele, took up pursuit after the suspect Holman joined.

“He’s a lot younger man, ya know, so he runs right by the officer,” McCall said with a laugh of Steele.

With another route spoiled for the suspect, he changed course and headed toward a fence at the job site. He hopped over it and disappeared.

“I knew what was behind that fence. It was a swamp, all marshy. I knew he had nowhere to go, if the officer could (catch up),” McCall said. “When the officer got there, it looked like he was going to try to jump the fence, and I said, ‘You know what?’ and I took my bucket and laid down the fence so he could walk right in.”

McCall said he and other workers stood by, shouting to the officer, asking if he needed help. A moment later, they heard, “Got him. He’s in cuffs.”

“We certainly don’t advise that the public get involved (in police work),” Brown said. “We’re not about putting people at risk. But these three guys just jumped in on their own. It was a spur-of-the-moment thing.”

When the trio finally came down to receive their awards, McCall said, they were touched by the gesture.

“There wasn’t much to it, but it was very pleasurable. They made you feel like you really helped somebody out,” he said. “They were all very nice. Out of 20 of them, 21 of them shook our hands.”

“They were super stoked,” Brown said. “They had some family members come in with them, and Chief (Scott McCanham) spoke. It was a pretty cool thing.”

Advertisement