By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE – The June 28 and 29 Dream Cruise on Fort Street may not have had an official sponsor this year, but that didn’t deter drivers from turning out in large numbers.
Deputy Police Chief Archie Hamilton reported that drag racing, reckless driving, substance abuse and other illegal actions kept Wyandotte police busy on their section of Fort Street during the weekend cruise.
A 16-year-old with a level one graduated driver’s license ended his night in the Wayne County Juvenile Detention Facility after leading police on a high-speed chase June 28 in an attempt to elude a traffic stop after he was caught drag racing.
A police officer on patrol saw a sedan of unknown make and a 2010 yellow Chevrolet Camaro SS side by side, with the sedan revving its engine in an anticipatory challenge. When both vehicles initiated a drag race on northbound Fort Street near Eureka Road, the officer activated his emergency lights to initiate a dual traffic stop.
The sedan pulled over, and the Camaro slowed down, then rapidly accelerated, reaching speeds exceeding 100 mph in the 45-mph zone. The officer activated his siren, and began pursuit, relaying the description to other police patrol cars in the area.
As another police vehicle joined the pursuit, the Camaro turned onto Goddard Road, and turned off his vehicle’s running lights, then raced west on Goddard, driving 80 mph in a 25-mph zone. He entered Old Goddard Road, turning his headlights off and on, failing to yield at stop signs and stop lights. Pursuing police officers lost visual contact near the intersection of Goddard and Dix, and were forced to terminate the chase.
However, another police officer spotted the Camaro on Goddard near Irene, with no lights lit on the vehicle. When the officer operated his emergency lights, the vehicle attempted to reverse direction at a high rate of speed, crossed the lane divider and struck the patrol car. The officer then exited his vehicle and apprehended the driver at gunpoint.
The Camaro was impounded, and the juvenile was taken to the police station for booking, where he was charged with drag racing, and fleeing and eluding. He was held in the Wyandotte jail prior to being transferred to the Wayne County Juvenile Detention Facility in Detroit.
The next afternoon, June 29, a man on a dark blue crotch rocket motorcycle eluded police officers on a high-speed chase on Fort Street.
The motorcyclist, a white male, was wearing a black helmet, dark shirt and khaki pants, was performing a wheelie while driving at a high rate of speed.
When police officers initiated a traffic stop with emergency lights and sirens, the man continued south on Fort Street at a high rate of speed, turned around at Quarry, and started northbound on Fort. He ran a red light at Eureka, and continued to Goddard, driving more than 100 mph, at which point police officers terminated the pursuit.
Later June 29, at 8:20 p.m., a 29-year-old Wyandotte man driving a 1998 Honda Civic northbound on Fort Street near Eureka was stopped for an invalid plate due to no vehicle insurance. The driver, who said he had just bought the car that day, had multiple license suspensions.
He was later found to have cocaine in a folded-up dollar bill in his pants pocket. The vehicle was forfeited and impounded, and he was booked and held.
A pizza delivery driver, a 22-year-old Lincoln Park man, was revving his engine and creating a cloud of thick white smoke at Fort and Northline, after which he was subject to a traffic stop June 29 at 8:32 p.m., and he was laughing about the traffic stop until he was told his vehicle was being impounded.
Shortly after, at 8:50 p.m. June 29, a 21-year-old man from Brownstown Township at Fort and Orchard was arrested for reckless driving and for resisting and obstructing police. The driver had been brake-torqueing and creating excessive white smoke, in addition to driving recklessly in the heavy traffic. When the unruly, drunken bystanders became belligerent, a decision was made to cite and release the driver at the scene, since they felt an arrest might spark violence.
Also that night, June 29, at 10:55 p.m., near Fort and Cedar, three motorcyclists, a 29-year-old Taylor man, a 32-year-old Flat Rock woman and a 32-year-old Huron Township man, were arrested for reckless driving, which included popping wheelies and impeding traffic, and their motorcycles were impounded.
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at [email protected])