Keeping Lowell Safe: Police Beat for February 2020

While social distancing is the norm now, it was business as usual for the Lowell Police Department last month. In February 2020, officers responded to 165 calls for service. These included the following, among others:

  • 26 calls for assistance to citizens
  • 20 calls for assistance to other agencies
  • 13 total arrests
  • 9 car accidents
  • 6 ordinance violations
  • 2 drunk driving cases

Plus, the department made 130 traffic stops and issued 47 citations as a result.

Police Chief Steve Bukala provided details on the following cases.

Deer Leads to Car-Tree Crash

Lowell Police responded to a traffic crash into a tree. The driver stated a deer ran in front of her on Grand River near Jackson. She swerved away from the deer, left the roadway and struck a tree. Chief Bukala reminds people not to veer for deer. You’re better off hitting the deer rather than a fixed object.

Vehicle Found in Water

A Lowell officer returning to town after meeting another agency in Ionia County came across a vehicle in the water with its brake lights on. The vehicle was partially submerged and another motorist was running down the embankment to check on it.

The officer went down the embankment and found the vehicle running and unoccupied. The area around the vehicle was checked and footprints were found in the snow walking up the bank. Ionia County Dispatch was contacted, but no report had been called in.

While waiting for the sheriff’s department to arrive, the driver and her husband came back to the scene. The driver stated she didn’t know what happened to have her vehicle leave the roadway, and it was possibly a slippery road. The driver was able to exit the vehicle unharmed and a neighbor brought her home to call a wrecker.

Minor Drinking and Driving Injures Two People

Lowell Police Department responded to an injury accident at Main and Hudson Streets. The suspect driver was traveling eastbound on Main Street and ran a red light at a high rate of speed, striking a vehicle in the intersection. The suspect’s vehicle then traveled into a nearby building.

Two subjects in the vehicle that was struck were transported to the hospital. Both subjects in this vehicle had a .000 BAC (blood alcohol count). The driver of the vehicle that ran the red light had no license and was investigated for operating while intoxicated. The driver was 16 years old and had a BAC of .07.

A breathalyzer was given at the Kent County Correctional Facility. Due to the subject’s age, he was released to his mother. Additional charges may be sought as this case remains under investigation.

Stolen iPad at Airport

Lowell Police were contacted about an iPad that had been stolen from the Gerald R. Ford Airport. The victim left his iPad on a plane when it landed at the Grand Rapids airport and used the “Find My iPad” app to trace it to a residence in Lowell.

The suspect admitted he worked for a cleaning company contracted by the airport, found the iPad and attempted to return it to lost and found. However, they were closed so he brought it home. The suspect was nervous when interviewed and admitted he dropped the iPad and cracked the screen, so he threw it in a snow bank.

The iPad was recovered and the victim didn’t want to pursue charges. Suspect was told he was very lucky he wasn’t going to jail that day.

Possible Drug Overdose

An officer was dispatched to assist with a possible drug overdose. The person’s boyfriend gave one dose of Narcan prior to police’s arrival. She was conscious and alert, however, she admitted she may have taken too much of her prescription drug. The prescription is used to help wean off heroin. Victim denied any illegal drug use and was treated at the scene by EMS. She refused any hospital treatment.

Warrant Arrest Leads to Possible Drug Charges

A Lowell officer observed a suspect who was wanted on warrants from the department. Upon arrest, she was searched for weapons and contraband. The suspect stated no controlled substances were on her person, but upon search, a pipe with methamphetamine residue was found. Suspect claimed “this isn’t even my coat and that’s a meth pipe.” The pipe and residue was submitted to the crime lab for analysis and possible pending charges for use of meth.

Fleeing and Eluding Proves Unsuccessful

Proving once again that it’s better if you don’t run from the law, Lowell Police arrested a driver who failed to stop as directed. The suspect was originally going to be stopped for speeding on Hudson Street. However, the suspect increased her speed to 64 miles per hour in the 25 miles per hour zone when the officer attempted the traffic stop.

The driver eventually stopped north of Vergennes Street. She was suspected of intoxication and police had the driver exit the vehicle and she was taken into custody. It was determined the driver had alcohol in her system, but it under the .08 BAC threshold and did not qualify as operating while intoxicated.

However, the driver was lodged for fleeing and eluding, 3rd degree, and charges for this crime have since been authorized against her.

Don’t Drive After Drinking with a Buddy

A Lowell officer was fueling one of the department’s vehicles when a pickup truck backed into a snowpile in the parking lot. The driver attempted to get out of the snow bank, and the officer approached.

The driver admitted he had a few beers at a buddy’s house. Field sobriety was conducted, and a roadside breath test revealed a BAC level of .147. The suspect was placed under arrest, and a breathalyzer was given at the jail with result of .15. He was charged with OWI 1st offense.

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