Ferndale officers injured in pursuit of suspected drunken driver

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published January 14, 2020

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FERNDALE — Two Ferndale police officers were injured while arresting a suspected drunken driver after he had crashed his vehicle.

According to the Ferndale Police Department, a Ferndale police officer made a stop on a vehicle driven by 28-year-old Brently Bohanen, of Detroit, at about 1 a.m. Jan. 7 in the area of Eight Mile Road and Edgewood Place after he allegedly was speeding.

Upon talking with the driver, Ferndale Police Sgt. Baron Brown stated, the officer immediately identified indications of intoxication, as he detected that Bohanen had slurred speech, had bloodshot eyes and smelled of alcohol.

When the officer tried to initiate field sobriety tests, Bohanen reportedly decided to end the interaction.

“At that point, the driver, Bohanen, rolls up the window and drives away,” Brown said.

Brown said Bohanen took off, though he already had been identified by police. Bohanen proceeded to drive through the neighborhood streets of Ferndale at speeds measured at 55-65 miles per hour, according to Ferndale police.

The officer who initially pulled over Bohanen pursued him in a scout car, but once Bohanen started hitting those high speeds, the officer ended the pursuit.

Bohanen’s drive would soon end, police stated, as he lost control of his vehicle while trying to make a turn on Pinecrest Drive, near Leroy Street, and crashed into a tree. He took off running from his vehicle and started jumping the fences of nearby homes, police said.

During the foot chase, Brown said, two officers were injured in their pursuit of Bohanen; one suffered a laceration to one of his hands, while another broke an arm.

“The officer with the lacerations is fine,” Brown said. “He’ll be back to work, no problem. The officer that broke his arm is clearly going to be off the street for a while, mending.”

Police said they were able to track Bohanen to a home in the 1200 block of Leroy, where at least three officers helped in arresting him.

“The original officer was able to locate him in a backyard, and it was there where, literally, a fight began,” Brown said. “Bohanen began throwing punches at the officers with a closed fist. … They were eventually able to get him in handcuffs and get him secured in the back of the scout car.”

Brown credited the officers’ training and their numbers in helping them to make the arrest of Bohanen.

“The more officers we have, the safer it is for everybody,” he said. “People don’t recognize that, but that’s the truth. So when we have overwhelming odds, it’s easier for us to get that person into custody …  just overwhelming them physically, using tactics in our training and defensive tactics to protect ourselves and get that person into custody without harming them.”

Brown stated that Bohanen did suffer head and hand injuries, but Brown attributed those to the vehicle crash with the tree and not because of Bohanen’s interaction with Ferndale police. Bohanen and the officer who broke his arm were taken to the hospital separately.

“He suffered no injuries from being in a backyard and actively fighting our officers,” Brown said. “They used the utmost restraint and got him in handcuffs, and as is the case in 99% of the cases, that was the end of it.”

Bohanen was arraigned Jan. 7 on charges of resisting and obstructing, third-degree fleeing and eluding, and a second offense of driving with license suspended, according to the 43rd District Court. His next court date was scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, before Judge Joseph Longo. He did not have an attorney assigned to his case as of press time.

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