Chief Scott Johnson

It all began Friday afternoon with a call from a probation officer to Grand Rapids Police Officer Troy Scott. There was a 29-year-old man in a local hotel room, wanted on a felony warrant for his arrest. Troy went to the hotel room to arrest him. He walked down the hallway, stopped, and knocked on the door. He heard commotion coming from within the room and the sound of a window opening. Nobody came to the door. He then went outside and saw a screen laying on the ground below the window. The man had jumped out of the second story window and ran. A witness told Troy that he saw a man fitting the man’s description run toward L & M Fleet Supply. Troy radioed this information to other officers and deputies and then he drove to L&M.

Deputy Mark Greiner walked inside the store as Troy pulled up in his police car. The wanted man saw deputy Greiner and then ran from the store, getting into the passenger’s side of a SUV that pulled up to the curb. The vehicle sped out of the parking lot as Troy yelled for the driver to stop. The woman driver looked at Troy and sped off. The SUV turned east onto 13th street and accelerated toward Airport Road. By this time, Sergeant Andy Morgan was behind it with red lights on and siren blaring. The vehicle blasted through a stop sign and continued to accelerate, fleeing from Andy.

The vehicle then turned north onto Airport Road, swerving around other vehicles and now going very fast. It then turned east onto Seventh Street, entering a residential area. Deputy Mike Liebel was now directly behind the vehicle and he decided enough was enough. This pursuit was going to end before it went any further into this neighborhood endangering others. Mike performed a “PIT Maneuver” which stands for Pursuit Intervention Technique, something he had been trained to do. He placed the front right corner of his police vehicle against the left rear of the fleeing vehicle and gave it a slight nudge to the side causing the SUV to spin out. It travelled backwards into a tree in the front yard of a house. That was the end of the pursuit but not the efforts of the wanted man to avoid arrest. As the vehicle came to a stop, he opened the passenger’s side door and ran into the wooded backyard, leaving the driver inside the vehicle. Officers, deputies and DNR conservation officers quickly set up a perimeter and it wasn’t long before the man was marched out of the woods in handcuffs.

Other officers went to where the SUV was resting up against a tree. We found a woman behind the steering wheel complaining of neck pain. An ambulance was quickly summoned. She asked to use her cell phone to make a telephone call. She was told that it wasn’t going to happen. Later we discovered her cell phone had an app playing which allowed her to listen to law enforcement radio transmissions as they were occurring. Certainly, she wanted to shut the app off before officers discovered it.

The man was arrested on the outstanding felony warrant and Fleeing from Officers on Foot. The woman driving the SUV was arrested for Fleeing from Police in a Motor Vehicle, a felony offense, and using a police radio-scanning device in a motor vehicle. The man went directly to jail. The woman joined him after a stop at the hospital emergency room.

Sometimes you just can’t make this stuff up. You see, the woman driving the vehicle, fleeing from the police, was the man’s mother. I guess all one can say is, “The family that flees together stays together…in the county jail.”

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