Off-duty officer waives preliminary hearing in rough arrest at Meijer store in Detroit

Lonnie Wade facing misconduct, assault charges

By John Steckroth - Editor

Officer Lonnie Wade faces charges in the rough arrest of David Bivins outside a Detroit Meijer store. (WDIV)

DETROIT - Officer Lonnie Wade waived his preliminary hearing Thursday morning in the rough arrest of a man while a secondary employment position at a Meijer store in Detroit.

David Bivins was arrested at the store Oct. 8 for disorderly conduct and resisting and obstruction after he was accused of shoplifting.

The incident prompted claims of police brutality after cellphone video circulated social media. 

Wade, 65, was charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm, felonious assault and two counts of misconduct in office.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced charges Dec. 10 against Wade, along with three other Detroit officers.

What happened

Bivins was accused of shoplifting by two off-duty officers. He said even after he showed his receipt, the officer kept coming at him in the doorway and outside the store at Woodward Avenue and 8 Mile Road.

Lonnie Wade is arraigned on assault and misconduct charges on Dec. 21, 2017. (WDIV)

He said the officer knocked him out, damaged eight of his teeth and broke his jaw with a baton.

"My entire front (teeth), from canine to canine, are gone," Bivins said. "I am missing a tooth on the bottom. They're fractured. They still feel like they are loose, and they might fall out. I don't know."

READ$25 million lawsuit filed on behalf of man beaten by officer

Bivins said the evening started as a nice night out for him and his girlfriend, Hillary Ross. They ate out and bought a few items at Meijer. He said they paid for their items and headed toward the bus stop, and when Ross went to the restroom, Bivins was approached.

He said the rest was a nightmare.

"He was continuously coming toward me, advancing towards me," Bivins said.

Bivins said he never resisted or engaged the officer. He said he was afraid he was going to lose his life.

"I'm terrified," Bivins said. "All I know is I heard the sound and my heart is racing. I don't know if that's a gun. I could hear it. ... I knew from the moment this was wrong. I had done nothing."

Surveillance video

Watch the new surveillance video released by police below:

A crowd gathered in the immediate area of the altercation.

Watch the cellphone video that circulated on social media:

In another video shot by Ross, the officer said he arrested the man for his use of profanity.

“I tried to get him to shut up,” the officer said in the video.

Watch the cellphone video shot by Ross below:

Bivins was celebrating birth of daughter

The couple was out celebrating the birth of their daughter, Aurora, who had been born six days earlier. She weighed one pound and was in the NICU.

"She is extremely tiny and she is fighting," Ross said. "She is fighting."

Ross said she had the receipt when the two Meijer security guards approached Bivins.

"I let them know I am returning these items," Ross said. "I am embarrassed. I was shocked. I felt like I was accused of something. I've never done a day in my life."

Bivins said Ross was returning the items when the officer went through his bags from a different store, which wasn't Meijer-related. That's when the beating began and spilled outside the store, Bivins said.

Couple hires Geoffrey Fieger

The couple hired attorney Geoffrey Fieger. They're preparing a lawsuit against Meijer. Fieger alleges Bivins was mistreated in jail, rushed into an arraignment and charged with disorderly conduct.

Wade turned in a complaint, misspelling Bivins' name and accusing him of creating an "improper diversion."

Fieger said Meijer is responsible for the off-duty officer.

"It is the only way they will ever answer for what they did to David and Hillary," Fieger said.

"We have reviewed the video of the incident," Meijer said in a statement. "We’ve since provided the Detroit Police Department access to all security footage and have fully cooperated with them as they investigate this incident involving their officer."

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