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Man with gun arrested after incident at car show

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published September 13, 2019


ST. CLAIR SHORES — After hours of classic cars and good times, a local car show was interrupted after a man pulled a gun on another visitor.

St. Clair Shores Police Detective Brad Benac said that at around 2:45 p.m. Sept. 8, a 71-year-old Clinton Township man, Michael Rice, was taken into police custody without incident after he allegedly pointed a gun at a 65-year-old man from Southfield at the Lakeshore Chapter of the Vintage Motor Car Club of America car show being held at the VFW Bruce Post, 28404 Jefferson Ave.

“Mr. Rice was driving erratically (and) almost hit a couple of people in the VFW parking lot, and the victim approached him to tell him, ‘Hey, slow down,’” Benac said. “That’s when the guy made some colorful comments and pulled the gun on him.”

According to the police report, Rice had been trying to leave the show and pulled off the parking area and over a curb, which bottomed out his white Ford Mustang. He then allegedly put the car in reverse and squealed his tires to get back onto the curb, nearly hitting a nearby person sitting in a wheelchair. The Southfield man allegedly approached the vehicle to tell the driver to be careful, and that’s when Rice allegedly pulled out the gun.

The report also states that Rice allegedly had pepper spray and knives in his possession and admitted to police that he had consumed four beers. He blew a 0.04 blood alcohol content on a preliminary breath test.

Benac said that no one was hurt and no shots were fired.

“There were multiple witnesses that confirmed the story when officers arrived,” Benac said. “He was taken into custody without incident.”

Rice was arraigned Sept. 9 in front of Judge Joseph Oster on charges of felonious assault with a dangerous weapon and brandishing a firearm in public. He received a $3,000 personal bond. His attorney — Sean Kowalski, of Hamtramck — had no comment on the case. Rice was scheduled for a probable cause conference Sept. 17, after press time.

Duane Michno, the event organizer and vice president of the VMCCA Lakeshore Chapter, said that, fortunately, those in attendance were understanding and cooperative during the incident.

“I told people (to) please stand back and allow the police to do their job,” he said. “I think that was a textbook case of how such an issue should have been handled ... not only for him but for the people who were standing by.”

Michno said that he and other organizers are discussing ways that the rules can be tightened in the future to prevent other such incidents and ensure the safety of the car owners.

The remainder of the all-day event, however, was wonderful, he said.

“It was an extremely successful event, albeit tainted by the actions of one individual,” he said.