Veteran gets probation for firing shots at vehicle fleeing police in Detroit

Fleeing driver never charged

DETROIT – William Eckel's home security camera system caught video of him shooting at a car that was fleeing from police in his Brightmoor neighborhood.

"I perceive his car turning towards me. I draw. It corrects over the curb. I take one shot and disable the car," said Eckel.  

The driver fleeing was never charged, but Eckel was charged with two felony gun crimes.
He is a veteran and maintains that it was his right to protect his neighborhood and stop a fleeing felon.

"It was a slap in the face, a slap in the face," Eckel said of his charges.  

His attorney, Nicholas Somberg, spoke to Local 4 about the incident. 

"The law allows you to stop a fleeing felon. My client had a right to stop him," said Somberg.  

On Tuesday Eckel pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of reckless discharge of a firearm, and got two years probation, avoiding prison time. He believes he did the right thing and his conviction sends the wrong message.

"If you are a stand-up citizen, you will be charged with multiple felonies," said Eckel. 

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