Cop drives man 100 miles to family in Detroit to grieve death of sister

Mark Ross driven to Detroit by Sgt. David Robison

The call came in the wee hours of Sunday.

At 3 a.m., Mark Ross learned his 15-year-old sister had just been killed in a car wreck. Stunned and shocked, and without a car, he convinced someone he knew to drive him from Indiana to Detroit.

It was a risky proposition. The man had a suspended driver’s license, but Ross begged him to help. They were speeding down an Ohio highway when, sure enough, they were pulled over by the state highway patrol.

Ross also had an outstanding misdemeanor warrant. But instead of going to jail, he ended up being driven more than 100 miles by Sgt. David Robison, who prayed over him and delivered him to a Detroit coffee shop, where Ross’s cousin came to get him.

“It was just so overwhelming,” Ross told Monday.  “They were trying to help us.”

It was completely unlike several recently publicized encounters between a young African-American man and a white cop.

His friend “ended up getting locked up,” Ross said. “They were trying to get me as close to Detroit as possible,” he added. Michigan’s Wayne County, which had issued the warrant, didn’t want to send someone to get him.

So Robison, out of the kindness of his heart, drove him to a Detroit restaurant.

"He just said, 'Come on, let's get you back to your mom and family,'" Ross said. "I just got in the car and we drove."

It was an emotional drive.

"Everyone knows how much I dislike cops," Ross wrote on his Facebook page, where a photo he shared of Sgt. Robison has been shared more than 100,000 times. "He gave me hope."

As Ross was getting out Robison’s patrol car in Detroit, the cop leaned over and asked a question that surprised Ross.

"As I was getting out of the car, he just reached over and was like, 'Mark? Can I pray for you?'" Ross said. "'Sure. Go ahead, I need it.' And he said one of the most meaningful heartfelt prayers and it really touched me ... He made me really see a light. There's so much stuff going on in the world right now, but he really opened up a door for me and I'm humbly grateful for that officer."

Ross said his family is eternally grateful for Robison’s generosity of spirit. They invited him to the young girl’s services, and Robison said he hopes to attend. The time for the service hasn't been set.

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Ross said he didn't intend to make the story go viral, or to show the "groundbreaking revelations that all cops are not bad cops."

Ross hopes his experience can calm some of the unrest in the United States. But for now, he's focused on laying his little sister to rest.

"I really think I gained a brother and an angel at the same time," Ross said.

About the Authors:

Jason is Local 4’s utility infielder. In addition to anchoring the morning newscast, he often reports on a variety of stories from the tragic, like the shootings at Michigan State, to the off-beat, like great gas station food.

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.