Roseville police chief tackles fleeing criminal after hearing about chase on way to work

Bryan Gray, Deshawn Watkins taken into custody

Bryan Leonard Gray (left) and Deshawn Bryant Watkins (right). (Roseville Police Department)

ROSEVILLE, Mich.Roseville police Chief Ryan Monroe, a former football player at Wayne State, tackled a fleeing criminal after hearing about a chase involving break-in suspects on his way to work.

Officers respond to break-in

Roseville police were called at 5:36 a.m. Monday (Jan. 24) to the 7-Eleven store at 18716 Masonic Road.

Officials said a group of people used a dark-colored 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe to pull the front doors off the building. The Tahoe had been stolen out of Detroit on Jan. 23, police said.

While an officer was on his way to the 7-Eleven, he said he saw a possible vehicle that matched the description in the area of Gratiot Avenue and Masonic Road.

The officer maneuvered his patrol car to get a closer look, but the Tahoe fled. He and other Roseville officials chased the vehicle south on Gratiot Avenue, according to authorities.

Police chase

During the pursuit, the driver tried to go over the median and lost control, causing the Tahoe to roll over, police said.

The Tahoe landed on the passenger side, facing south, authorities said. Three people got out and fled on foot, according to officials.

Deshawn Bryant Watkins, 25, of Detroit, was immediately taken into custody after a short foot chase, police said. The other two men ran east across Gratiot Avenue, according to authorities.

Chief makes arrest

Monroe was on his way to work that morning when he heard the radio broadcast of the crime and went to the area.

“Using the experience of a 25-year veteran, he headed to an area along the east side of I-94 that the fleeing suspects would have had to travel to based on their direction of travel,” Roseville police said in a release.

Monroe saw Bryan Leonard Gray, 33, of Detroit, fleeing on foot. As Gray was trying to jump over a brick wall, Monroe caught up to him and tackled him to the ground, authorities said.

Gray resisted and tried to get away from Monroe, but the chief successfully restrained him and took him into custody, police said.

“The physical agility and tackling ability displayed by Chief Monroe are reminiscent of his football career at Wayne State University and Lutheran North High School, where he was a stellar scholar-athlete,” police said in the release.

Gray’s arrest happened about a half-mile from the crash scene, officials said.

One person escapes

The third person who fled from the Tahoe eluded police and has not been taken into custody, according to authorities.

Police said he was picked up by a second vehicle, which was also involved in the 7-Eleven heist.

He was wearing dark clothing, officials said.


The Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office authorized charges against Watkins and Gray.

Gray, determined to be the driver of the Tahoe, has been charged with breaking and entering a building with intent, receiving and concealing a stolen motor vehicle and assaulting/resisting/obstructing a police officer, according to authorities.

The breaking and entering charge is a 10-year felony, the stolen motor vehicle charge is a five-year felony and the assaulting/resisting/obstructing police charge is a two-year felony.

Gray is being held on $25,000 bond, cash/surety.

Watkins has been charged with breaking and entering a building with intent and assaulting/resisting/obstructing a police officer.

He is being held on $15,000 bond, cash/surety.

Both men are lodged at the Macomb County Jail.

About the Author:

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.