Park officer earns praise for rescuing victim of beating and shooting

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published March 29, 2016


GROSSE POINTE PARK — A veteran Grosse Pointe Park public safety officer is being hailed as a hero for saving a woman who apparently had been beaten and shot by her husband.

Park Public Safety Director Stephen Poloni said the officer — a member of the Arrest Car Thieves in Our Neighborhoods task force, better known as ACTION — had been in the area of Lyford and Gilbo streets on Detroit’s east side doing follow-up on a stolen vehicle case when he saw a truck backed up into a field with the hood up around 1 p.m. March 23. The area, near City Airport, is known for being a drop site for stolen cars, and Poloni said there are “no houses in that area,” so when the officer saw what appeared to be a man in the truck, he approached, thinking the man might be stripping the truck for parts.

As the officer pulled up, Poloni said the suspect — a 34-year-old Hazel Park man, the husband of the victim — waved at the officer. When the officer asked if everything was OK, Poloni said the suspect flashed a badge at the officer and claimed that he worked for a recovery team. The suspect also showed the officer the gun in his waistband and said he had a permit to carry the weapon. Poloni said the officer felt something wasn’t right about the situation, based on his years of investigatory experience.

As a safety precaution, Poloni said the officer handcuffed the suspect and looked inside the truck. There, in the front seat, Poloni said the officer saw the suspect’s 32-year-old wife, who “had been badly beaten” and appeared to have stab wounds and had been shot in the lower part of her legs. The officer called for medical assistance for the woman, who was taken to St. John Hospital and Medical Center for treatment; her condition was not known at press time. 

“There’s no question if it had not been for some very good police instincts, (this situation) might have ended up very differently,” Poloni said. “There’s no question in my mind that (this officer) saved (the victim’s) life. I think the officer did a very, very good job.”

Because the officer works undercover, Poloni said he couldn’t give out his name. However, he did say that the officer is a decorated 21-year veteran of the Park Public Safety Department whose past honors include a 2012 lifesaving award. For his work on this incident, Poloni said the officer is being considered for honors from the Detroit Police Department and the Park Public Safety Department. 

According to a spokesperson for the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, the suspect has been charged with assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to do great bodily harm, unlawful imprisonment, felonious assault and felony firearm. The suspect was slated to be arraigned March 25 at 34th District Court in Romulus on these charges because 36th District Court in Detroit was closed. Because the incident happened in Detroit, Poloni said his officer turned the case over to the Detroit Police Department to investigate.