Crime briefs of the year in Birmingham, Bloomfield

Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published January 17, 2022

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


Driver caught with his pants down
BIRMINGHAM — An officer on patrol was traveling southbound on Woodward Avenue just before 5 a.m. Feb. 10 when they noticed a vehicle with flat tires and hazard lights on, sitting in the service drive in front of Bistro Joe’s restaurant, 34244 Woodward Ave.

The officer pulled in and noticed the engine of the vehicle was running and a driver was at the wheel, reclined. After several attempts to wake the driver by knocking on the window, the officer was able to get his attention, and he rolled the window down and said he was “in a bad way.”

The 39-year-old Detroit man tried to elaborate but lost his train of thought. He exhibited several signs of intoxication. He had his sweatpants down around his knees, with his hands and shirt covering his genitals. Asked why his pants were down, the driver was confused and said he had been out and drank “a little bit of cognac.” He pulled his pants up at the officer’s request.

When other officers arrived for backup, the driver stepped out of the vehicle and took a preliminary breath test, which showed he had a blood alcohol content over the legal limit. He was arrested and later issued a citation.


Hit-and-run driver leaves coolant trail 
BIRMINGHAM — Officers were dispatched to the area of South Old Woodward Avenue and Brown Street just before 10 p.m. April 18 on a report of a hit-and-run accident. 

A caller told police that a vehicle had struck a parked van and continued northbound on Old Woodward. 

Upon arrival, officers noticed a trail of fresh coolant leading away from the scene of the crash. They followed the trail and found a vehicle leaking coolant, with front-end damage, parked in front of 220 E. Merrill St. A bystander was attempting to open the passenger door, asking if the driver was all right, but was unable to due to the extent of the damage. 

Officers made contact with the driver, a 36-year-old Shelby Township woman who allegedly smelled of intoxicants. Asked if she recalled hitting another vehicle, she said she did not and that her vehicle “went off the roadway and went up a ramp.”

The driver could not explain where she had been prior to the incident but said she’d had two glasses of wine that evening. A preliminary breath test revealed she had a blood alcohol content more than twice the legal limit. She was arrested for driving under the influence.


Man harasses police during traffic stop
BLOOMFIELD HILLS — At around 4:30 p.m. May 31, an officer was engaged in a traffic stop on Woodward Avenue, near Lone Pine Road, when a passing motorist allegedly attempted to taunt the officer by turning around and going northbound slowly past the traffic stop, revving his engine and then turning around again to head southbound. He swerved into the turn lane, where both the patrol car and the violator’s vehicle were stopped, coming dangerously close.

According to police, the maneuver was intentional as the driver, a 65-year-old Bloomfield Township resident, is known to local law enforcement. A request was submitted to the city attorney’s office for an arrest warrant for reckless driving.


Botanical art on Rouge trails damaged
BIRMINGHAM — Just before 4 p.m. June 23, an officer responded to artist Laurie Tennant’s studio at Harmon Street and Old Woodward Avenue on a report of property damage.

Tennant said several pieces of her artwork, placed along the Rouge River trails in Booth and Linden parks, had been moved, damaged or stolen. The items were placed there as part of a municipal public art display.

Four metal photograph pieces sustained the most damage, valued at $23,400. There were no suspects or witnesses.


Diner gets hangry when he can’t order
BIRMINGHAM — Just after 2 a.m. July 25, officers were dispatched to Leo’s Coney Island, 154 S. Old Woodward Ave., on a report of a fight in progress.

Upon arrival, officers spoke with a 21-year-old man from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, who said he had been disruptive to the restaurant staff after being told they were no longer accepting orders.

Witnesses confirmed the story and said the man yelled and threw a drink at employees after being told the restaurant was closing and no longer taking food orders.

A preliminary breath test was performed and showed the man had a blood alcohol content of around 0.24%. He was cited for disorderly conduct.


Police nab Peeping Tom
BIRMINGHAM — Officers were dispatched to Ann Street around 6 p.m. July 31 on reports of an unknown subject looking into the windows of a home.

The caller said a man wearing jeans and no shirt was peering into their home, and when confronted, he fled the area on foot. 

Officers were able to locate the suspect, a 32-year-old Eastpointe man, and took him into custody.


Man steals Costco flowers — but not from shelf
BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — At around 5:30 p.m. Aug. 11, officers responded to Costco, 2342 S. Telegraph Road, on a report of a theft.

A store employee reported that while the store was without power, a man was seen removing flowers from the store’s landscaping. The suspect allegedly used his own shovel and left the scene in a 2021 Chevrolet Blazer.

An investigation was ongoing.


Drunken man goes web surfing on employee computer
BIRMINGHAM — Just after noon Aug. 15, officers were dispatched to Evereve, 128 S. Old Woodward Ave., on a report of a suspicious person in the store.

Employees said a man entered the store, went to the bathroom, and then wasn’t seen again. He was believed to be in a fitting room.

Officers located the subject in the employee-only back room. He was attempting to use the computer. According to reports, the subject was unsteady on his feet and smelled of intoxicants. He was arrested for disorderly conduct.


Drunken man hops into stranger’s car
BIRMINGHAM — Just after 5 p.m. Aug. 21, officers were dispatched to Old Woodward and Bowers Street on a report of a physical altercation between two individuals.

When police arrived, Birmingham Fire Department personnel were already on the scene and had separated the two subjects. Witnesses said one of the individuals, a 36-year-old Clarkston man, had jumped into the other’s convertible without permission.

Before that, the Clarkston man allegedly had approached a woman and put his arm around her neck, startling her.

The man performed a preliminary breath test, which resulted in a blood alcohol content of nearly three times the legal limit for driving. He was arrested for disorderly conduct.


Drunken man snags a nap in stranger’s garage
BIRMINGHAM — An officer was dispatched to a home around 6:30 p.m. Sept. 2 on a report of a suspicious circumstance.

A resident said she was notified by a work crew that they had confronted a man that morning who had spent the night in her garage. The crew told her the suspect left a note in the resident’s mailbox.

The officer checked the scene and retrieved the note from the mailbox. The officer contacted the phone number left on the note and reached a 32-year-old Birmingham resident, who said he had been drinking at a local bar that night and, while he didn’t recall feeling a “blackout,” he couldn’t remember what happened between 11 p.m. and 8 a.m. 

The suspect said he remembered waking up in a Mercedes, in a garage, wearing only his shirt. He said he was nervous that he had no pants and still felt intoxicated. He then located the keys in the vehicle, drove it to his apartment and changed into new clothes. Then, at around 10:30 a.m., he said he drove the vehicle back to the residence, filling it with about $20 worth of gas on the way.

He parked the vehicle in front of the house and left, then returned around 1 p.m. to leave a note in the mailbox and retrieve his belongings that were left behind. 

The resident told police she would like to press charges, and an investigation was ongoing.


Fight allegedly started over jewelry
BIRMINGHAM — Officers were dispatched to Sidecar Slider Bar, 117 Willits St., on reports of a fight in progress. Witnesses told police that several individuals were involved in a physical and verbal altercation involving jewelry.

Two of the individuals, a 38-year-old New Hudson man and a 56-year-old man from Stillwater, Minnesota, sustained facial wounds and received medical attention from the Birmingham Fire Department. 

Two other individuals, a 31-year-old man and a 34-year-old man, both from Boca Raton, Florida, were arrested for assault. 


Townsend tiff gets violent
BIRMINGHAM — Just after 10 p.m. Oct. 30, an officer was dispatched to the Townsend Hotel, 100 Townsend St., on a report of a fight in progress. 

Witnesses said two groups were fighting over a table that both believed to be theirs. The altercation involved several individuals from both groups, and it escalated to result in minor injuries. None of the individuals involved wished to press charges, and no arrests were made.