Keeping Lowell Safe: Police Beat for July 2019

In July 2019, the Lowell Police Department received 203 calls for service. These included the following, among others:

  • 23 calls for assistance to citizens
  • 12 calls for assistance to other agencies
  • 19 total arrests
  • 7 warrant arrests
  • 8 ordinance violations
  • 3 breaking and entering
  • 2 operating while intoxicated

In addition, Lowell Police Department was assisted by other agencies on 15 cases last month. Overall, it was a busy month, in part, because of the Fourth of July holiday which seemed to lead some people to engage in reckless behavior.

Here’s more about the July 2019 police cases.

Driving with BACs from 0.00 to 0.39

Alcohol seems to go hand-in-hand with summer celebrations for some people and led to drunk driving arrests for those who decided to forego a designated driver. However, in one case, a suspected drunk driver was not what he seemed.

The first drunk driving instance occurred over the Fourth of July weekend. The police were called to a local fast food restaurant and told a patron in the drive thru lane was possibly intoxicated. The responding officer did notice an odor of intoxicants from the vehicle, and the driver’s speech was slurred. A roadside breath test revealed his blood alcohol content was 0.14. A person is considered intoxicated at 0.08. The driver was booked on a charge of operating while intoxicated, first offense.

Proving that things aren’t always as they seem, Lowell Police were alerted to a possible drunk driver approaching the city limits. An off-duty officer from Ionia had noticed the vehicle driving erratically and called in the report. However, when a police officer from Lowell stopped the vehicle, the driver had a blood alcohol count of 0.00. He had not been drinking, but apparently, he was trying to eat a meal while driving which caused his vehicle to swerve.

In another case, a drunk driver was reported to be heading north on Alden Nash into the city at 4:37pm. A Lowell police officer took action to intercept the vehicle and saw it turn onto Bowes Road. With lights engaged, he pursued the vehicle down the road. When the vehicle finally stopped, the driver said he was returning home from Gull Lake. His blood alcohol count was 0.39. While the driver was speaking coherently, at that BAC, he was at risk of coma or even death, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. The officer escorted the man to the hospital and once he was medically cleared, he was charged with operating while intoxicated, high BAC.

Possible Home Invasion

A person reported a possible home invasion. The resident lives on the second floor and believes someone accessed their apartment through a slider. A PlayStation 4 and games were stolen. The matter is currently under investigation.

Larceny from Parked Car

A resident preparing for work in the morning discovered his wallet, containing $250 cash and gift cards, was stolen from his unlocked truck. Tools were also taken from the back of the vehicle. Video from a home surveillance system is being used in the investigation. Lowell Police remind residents to remove valuables and lock their vehicles overnight.

Fireworks Complaints

In one July fireworks complaint, a women saw sparks hitting her house via a home surveillance camera. Her daughter, who was home at the time, went outside to investigate and was hit in the leg by a firework. An officer made contact with the responsible neighbors who agreed to discontinue the fireworks.

Another fireworks complaint involved an 11-year old purposely shooting off fireworks at other children at Stoney Lakeside Park. An officer intervened, and the juvenile was turned over to his mother.

Ongoing Domestic Dispute

The Lowell Police Department received a series of complaints about a domestic dispute. A woman reported early in the month that her boyfriend had taken $400 and the SIM card from her phone as well as an additional $18 in change. She later decided to drop charges.

Later in the month, the woman reported her boyfriend has taken her prescription drugs, SIM card and pay card from work. Again, she later decided to drop charges.

In August, the situation turned physical, and police were able to arrest the boyfriend regardless of whether the woman wanted to press charges. He is currently in jail awaiting court action.

Alcohol-Related Cases of All Kinds

Alcohol played a role in many of the cases handled by the Lowell Police Department in July.

In one case, an officer was dispatched one night to a report of a suspicious person. The man calling in the report said an unknown man walked into his house, went upstairs and asked his daughter for cigarettes. The man calling the police was able to get the subject to leave the house and then observed him trying to rip up a street sign on Foreman Street. Later, a business reported a man had entered its facility and had to be escorted out. It is believed both reports refer to the same person.

Police intercepted the man on Foreman, and he said he was visiting from Florida. He was staying with his grandma in Wayland and had no idea how he had ended up in Lowell. He had been drinking with friends, but he wasn’t sure where they were. He was arrested on a charge of drunk and disorderly behavior.

Another case occurred at 1:30pm when police went to check on the welfare of a 30-year old woman who was sitting on a bench near a church, drinking vodka and talking to herself. She then was seen lying in the road near James and High Streets. Officers finally intercepted her in a yard in Highland Hills. Her eyes were bloodshot, and she had blurred speech. She was arrested for drunk and disorderly behavior.

At 4:30am, police responded to a call of a man behaving erratically at the corner of Bowes Road and East Fulton. He was shirtless, kneeling with his hands in the air and yelling. He appeared to be highly intoxicated. Police learned he had supposedly drunk a pint of tequila and was upset about an argument with his girlfriend and mother. Police tried to return to the man to his mother’s house, but he was not cooperative and arrested on a charge of drunk and disorderly behavior. His blood alcohol count at the jail was 0.22.

A Lowell police officer assisted the Kent County Sheriff’s Office by responding to a report of a female driver passed out in a vehicle on the corner of Vergennes and Lincoln Lake at 3:30am. Her blood alcohol count was 0.24.

Later in the month, police were dispatched to investigate a report of a loud argument in Riverwalk Park. As the officer approached, the subjects stopped arguing and turned to leave. They left behind open alcohol containers on the bench. Drinking alcohol in Lowell parks is not permitted, and the subjects were cited.

City Connection to Township Stabbing

Police were alerted to an 18-year old male who was bleeding heavily from the arm. While the report came from inside the city, it was determined the stabbing incident occurred in the Whispering Hills development in Lowell Charter Township. The case was turned over to the Kent County Sheriff’s Office.

Strange Text Message

A woman received a text message at 11pm allegedly from a man on her street looking for a sexual encounter. An officer determined the text was spam and showed her how to block the number.

Drowning at Stoney Lakeside Park

Tragically, a man drowned at Stoney Lakeside Park while swimming to the island with friends. It was something he had done numerous times in the past, and it is believed medical treatment he was receiving may have caused cramping that led him to sink. The man was underwater for approximately 20 minutes before he was located in 12 feet of water. Efforts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.

Gun Scare Followed by Unlawful Entry

Police received a report of a man with a gun. A resident saw this young man pull a gun out of his waistband and wave it around. Two officers responded to the address in question but did not find the man. A female friend was at the home and said she hadn’t seen a gun. Police were able to make contact with the person’s mother who told police her son had a BB gun.

Later, the police received a report of this same person entering an apartment without permission. Allegedly, he and another person climbed through a window into the apartment. They were apparently known by the apartment resident, but they did not have permission to enter the premises. They admitted to climbing through the window and were charged with unlawful entry.

Death from Unknown Cause

In another tragic case, police were called after a father found his son unresponsive in the basement. The 24-year old apparently had previously struggled with substance abuse but no drug paraphernalia was found near his body. CPR was attempted, but emergency responders were unable to revive him. Police are awaiting toxicology results.

Retail Fraud at Rite Aid

Rite Aid reported the theft of four bottles of liquor and a portable DVD player, with a total value of $215.95. Lowell Police Department posted a surveillance image of the suspect to its Facebook page but did not get any leads. At a later date, the suspect returned and stole more alcohol by concealing it in his pants. This time, the police were able to obtain a description of his vehicle. It was a white Ford Taurus with no plate. If you have any information about this suspect or vehicle, contact the Lowell Police Department.

In the Park after Dark

Lowell city parks close at dusk, and an officer approached some subjects in a vehicle who were in a park after hours. The person in the back of the vehicle was evasive and refused to supply any identification. He then took off running. The suspect may not have realized that Lowell police officers wear body cams. The officer was able to identify him from the footage, and the man was located and arrested on an outstanding warrant.

Drug Arrest after Traffic Stop

A driver was pulled over on the suspicion of being intoxicated. A woman was driving, and a man was in the passenger seat. The couple said they were on the way to the hospital because the woman was having a potential miscarriage. This was later discovered to be a false statement.

The officer noted the plate on the vehicle did not match the registration information. Upon further investigation, it was determined that there were three outstanding warrants for the occupants, and drug paraphernalia was in the vehicle along with an unknown substance. The plate was improperly registered because the couple had bought the vehicle in the spring and never transferred the title.

The substance was sent for processing and was found to be heroin and cocaine. The man admitted the items were his, and he was charged with possession of heroin and cocaine. The charge isn’t listed in the stats at the start of this article because they were not made until August.

Car Chase Down M-21

The Lowell Police Department ended July with a bang when Sgt. Hurst was involved in a car chase down M-21 on July 31.

While on routine patrol, he noticed a vehicle parked behind Tractor Supply. There had been several reported burglaries in the area, and Sgt. Hurst pulled up by the vehicle to investigate. The vehicle took off at a high rate of speed down Main Street toward Ionia, reaching 90 miles per hour. Sgt. Hurst gave pursuit but broke off the chase near White’s Bridge Road.

The Ionia Sherriff’s Office had been notified and sent an officer to intercept the vehicle as it headed east. In the meantime, a resident called about a crash and a screaming woman in the area. Officers headed to that location and found that the driver had hit a raccoon, lost control and rain into a guardrail. Both the male driver and female passenger were arrested without incident.

When an officer attempted to interview the man, he said he was pleading the Fifth. Apparently, he had outstanding warrants from Traverse City. There was also drug paraphernalia and what looked like stolen goods in his vehicle. The man was charged with fleeing and eluding.

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