Ferndale band reports armed robbery, police investigate claims

By: Joshua Gordon | Woodward Talk | Published December 9, 2015

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Ferndale police are investigating a report of an armed robbery that allegedly occurred the night of Dec. 5 at the home of Motives of Existence band member John Annesser following a band rehearsal.

According to a report filed by the band Dec. 5, two armed suspects forced their way into Annesser’s home in the 200 block of Livernois Street between 8:30 and 9 p.m. Dec. 5. They reportedly told everyone in the home to get on the ground, and they were looking for money.

Ferndale Police Lt. William Wilson said the department was investigating the claims of the band members regarding the reported robbery.

“These people have given us their account of people coming in armed with guns and there was a fight,” he said. “We are investigating and can’t give any details beyond that right now.”

Wilson said that he wanted to assure residents that they shouldn’t worry about a break-in occurring at their home.

“We are investigating the allegation made by the reporting party,” he said. “I don’t think there is any reason for people in the neighborhood to be concerned that anyone will barge into their house with guns.”

According to Annesser, who is better known by his stage name, John Wildcat, six people were in his home following the rehearsal when the two suspects came in through the unlocked back door, one with a shotgun and one with a handgun.

Annesser said he and another occupant quickly knocked the handgun out of one of the suspects’ hands before Annesser used a laundry basket to force the suspect with a shotgun out the back door.

“I realized I couldn’t give them control of the situation, and I was going to grab a weapon myself, but it all happened in microseconds,” Annesser said. “I forced the guy with the shotgun out the back door with a laundry basket, and don’t ask me how that works, but it did.”

When Annesser returned to the suspect in the house, he said, the suspect was “scuffling” with one of Annesser’s friends, and during that engagement, Annesser was hit in the head and arm with the gun, resulting in a fractured arm.

The gun, Annesser said, had become inoperable by that point with the clip being knocked out.

“Once the guy realized the gun didn’t work, he ran to the back door, which I had locked, and I opened it up and he ran out and I slammed it shut,” he said. “I then went and called 911, and the police and ambulance got here really quick. It was a super fast situation, as it all went down in a matter of five minutes.”

Annesser said the back door typically is locked, but it had been unlocked as he and his wife had guests at the home.

Nothing was stolen from the home, Annesser said, but a band member did have his cellphone and $2 stolen from him when he was outside and the suspect with a shotgun was pushed out the back door.

Annesser described the suspects, whom he said the band didn’t know, as two black males between 17 and 20 years old. The suspect with the handgun was tall and slender and wore dark clothing with a knitted cap, he said, while the suspect with the shotgun had a small beard.

“I was really freaked out, as that is about as dangerous as things get,” he said. “I am happy I reacted the way I did. I see things on TV and think I would react a certain way, but I guess I know now.”

Anyone with information can call the Ferndale Police Department at (248) 541-3650.