By ANDREA POTEET
Sunday Times Newspapers
MELVINDALE — A foot chase led to the arrest of a 31-year-old resident Monday.
The man was driving a 1993 Pontiac Trans Sport minivan east on Greenfield just after 1:30 a.m. that day when an officer realized the vehicle matched the description of one stolen the night before.
Officers followed the vehicle south on Schaefer and watched as it ran a red light near Oakwood and Dix. When it stopped for a train crossing in Detroit, officers ran a records check, which proved it was the stolen vehicle.
The vehicle proceeded onto South Dix and then traveled south on Schaefer, when the officer activated the patrol car’s emergency lights. The vehicle sped up past the 35 mph speed limit and failed to stop.
A high-speed chase ensued through West Jefferson and into southwest Detroit before the vehicle stopped on Graham in River Rouge. The suspect got out of the car and ran to the back of a house, where he was apprehended by a River Rouge police officer after a struggle in which he admittedly struck several River Rouge officers, police said.
He was handcuffed and told police, “I didn’t know the van was stolen, I just ran because I didn’t have a license and was scared,” before being told the van was stolen, according to the police report.
There was no key in the ignition, which was damaged.
The suspect was treated with an ice pack for injuries to his eye after first requesting then declining transportation to a nearby hospital.
“A lot of times people will call for medical attention thinking they can get out of charges,” Detective David Taft said. “They cry wolf. He was kind of playing that game.”
The man had resisted arrest for larceny in Melvindale several other times, Taft said.
The driver left the van in gear before exiting, causing it to roll into the Melvindale patrol car, which sustained minor damage to the front driver’s-side signal lens.