Royal Oak police arrest man found in floral event business

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published April 8, 2021

 Darien Robert-Alden Cook

Darien Robert-Alden Cook

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ROYAL OAK — At approximately 2 p.m. March 30, Royal Oak police responded to a call about an unknown man inside Delux Floral, a floral event business located at 4915 Leafdale Blvd., near West 14 Mile Road and Coolidge Highway.

The owner arrived at the store after it had been closed for several days and discovered some work belongings, including a computer and equipment, on the front lawn outside the business, police said.

Finding it odd, she walked closer and observed that the door had been broken into and then spotted an unknown man through the window, so she called 911, according to the police report.

Lt. Al Carter, of the Royal Oak Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division, said the man left on foot and responding officers located him walking northbound on Coolidge Highway.

“They ended up stopping him and arresting him,” Carter said. “He had some items stolen from the business on him, including a cellphone and rosaries. He has some mental issues.”

Carter said a police investigation revealed that the suspect, 46-year-old Darien Robert-Alden Cook, had allegedly been living inside the business during the days it was closed and caused extensive damage to the business amounting to $12,000.

“He ransacked the business,” Carter said. “He damaged tables, displays and everything inside. It’s a higher-end party business with silk flowers for rental. It’s pretty impressive. … He took possession of the business like his house and made a makeshift bed.”

During the police interview, Carter said, Cook was “not making too much sense.” Besides having mental issues, Carter added that Cook is homeless. While Cook is lodged at the Oakland County Jail, Carter said he hoped Cook could get a mental evaluation and receive help.

Carter said Cook has a lengthy criminal record. According to 44th District Court records, Cook was charged with illegal entry without owner’s permission and obstructing a peace officer for an incident on May 16, 2016.

On March 31, 44th District Court Magistrate Nancy Orletski arraigned Cook on three felony charges: breaking and entering a building with intent, larceny in a building, and malicious destruction of personal property $1,000 or more but less than $20,000. Orletski gave Cook a $15,000 cash or surety, 10%, bond, with conditions to wear a tether if he was released.

Cook is due back at the 44th District Court for a probable cause conference at 11 a.m. April 9, before Judge Jamie Wittenberg.

Cook did not have a defense attorney on record as of press time.

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