By ZEINAB NAJM
Sunday Times Newspapers
TAYLOR — Taylor Police Officer Tyler Peake, 23, has been charged in connection with the assault of a Southfield man during an April 2020 domestic disturbance investigation.
Peake faces charges of misconduct in office for assault and battery, according to an Aug. 24 Wayne County Prosector’s Office press release. Misconduct in office is a common law felony that carries a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison. He is also charged with assault and battery, a 93-day misdemeanor.
He was placed on unpaid administrative leave pending the outcome of the criminal case, the release said.
Peake was to be be in court for an arraignment before 23rd District Court Judge Gino Salamone after 9 a.m. Aug. 25.
The initial call to Taylor 911 Dispatch came in at 1:43 a.m. April 1, from a 34-year-old female complainant, of Taylor, who reported an alleged domestic disturbance involving her boyfriend, Brendon Morgan, 34.
She told police that Morgan drove away from her home in the direction of a Marathon gas station in a black sedan. The Taylor Dispatch put the information over the police radio.
Three marked SUV scout cars with seven officers then responded to the dispatch. Officers had body worn cameras and the scout cars had cameras that recorded the encounter, police said.
Morgan’s vehicle was located driving toward the Marathon station, 8350 Telegraph. The scout cars activated their lights and sirens as Morgan pulled into the station.
“Officer Peake approached on foot, pointed his handgun at Mr. Morgan, and instructed him to stop his car and get out several times,” a Taylor Police Department release said. “Mr. Morgan rolled down his window and raised both hands where they were visible. It is alleged that Officer Peake then punched Mr. Morgan in the face with his right hand through the open window while holding his handgun in his left hand.”
Ten seconds elapsed from the time Peake approached yelling commands until the time he punched Morgan, the release said. Peake then struck Morgan multiple times on the ground after Morgan was forcibly removed from his vehicle by other officers.
On April 2, Morgan was charged with one count each of resisting and obstructing a police officer, fleeing the police forth degree, malicious destruction of a building — his girlfriend’s house — and misdemeanor domestic violence.
At the July 27, 2020, preliminary examination the domestic violence and the malicious destruction of a building charges were dismissed because the complainant failed to appear in court. The prosecution proceeded on the remaining charges.
According to the release, the judge found insufficient evidence to bind over Morgan on the remaining charges and the case was dismissed. After the preliminary examination, the assistant prosecutor forwarded the file to the WCPO Public Integrity unit for review.
The case was sent to the Michigan State Police for investigation and a warrant request was presented to WCPO on Jan. 21.
Charges are allegations and defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected].)