LOCAL 4 DEFENDERS
Video: Suspect in stolen vehicle leads police on chase in Farmington Hills
FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – Police arrested a man driving a stolen vehicle after he led officers on a chase in Farmington Hills. Dashcam video shows officers trying to stop the driver with their vehicles. Body cam footage shows officers chasing the man, even jumping over a fence. Police believed the suspect was armed after they retraced their steps the next day. “The next morning, during daylight, investigators recovered a fully loaded handgun from the area believed to be involved in the incident,” said Police Chief Jeff King.
City helps fix Detroit woman’s home after Defenders investigate sewage issue
DETROIT – A Detroit man went to the Local 4 Defenders for help because his neighbor was dumping raw sewage in their backyard. Chavone Demham admitted to dumping the sewage and told the city that she was in need of help. “It’s a program called Code Blue,” Bowser said. AdIn a typical year, Code Blue helps about 30 families. While the assistance directly helps Demham, it also helps all of the neighbors living on Birwood Street.
New Oakland County prosecutor shares concerns on rate of murders, unreported child abuse
OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. – About 20 to 25 murder cases are reported a year in Oakland County, said Karen McDonald, the new county prosecutor. But there have been seven murders reported since December. “If this trend continues, we are looking at a large amount of homicides,” McDonald said. Ad“I absolutely think it is COVID related,” McDonald said. Ad“We are trying not to incarcerate individuals that are not a public safety threat for a variety of reasons,” she said.
Orchard Lake school responds to lawsuit outlining series of sexual assault allegations
WEST BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A lawsuit filed by a father and son alleges that students at one Metro Detroit high school attacked and forced the son to participate in sexualized games during a retreat in 2019. The father, a longtime teacher at St. Mary’s Preparatory High School in Orchard Lake, and his son, a student, filed a lawsuit outlining a series of sexualized games allegedly played by the school’s student athletes. The lawsuit claims that when the son chose not participate in the games, the other students attacked him. And they’re left alone to do that,” said Bob Palmer, attorney for the father and son in the case against St. Mary’s officials. “It’s kind of ironic that the individual who was assaulted is the son of the teacher -- they’re both there,” Palmer said.
Some Michiganders cutting in line for COVID vaccine ahead of those in need
Michigan’s system of “phases,” which determines who receives a COVID vaccine first, has put health care providers in a difficult spot. Some Michiganders have been cutting in line for a vaccination, making it more difficult for those in need to receive the vaccine. She is eligible to receive a COVID vaccine in Michigan, but Therese says trying to sign up with her healthcare provider -- St. Joseph Mercy Health System -- has become another full time job. Other residents who are far younger and not frontline workers have apparently had success getting vaccines from St. Joseph Mercy. When he was asked how he got so far ahead in line, he said, “I’m essential I guess,” with a winking emoji.
Detroit senior citizen claims neighbor is dumping raw sewage in backyard of home
DETROIT – A local man said city officials wouldn’t help when he complained about his neighbor dumping raw sewage into the back yard. Something needs to be done about that sewage leaking into the backyard,” Scott said. Within hours of the Defenders contacting the city, an inspector -- along with Detroit police officers -- arrived to address the problem. The city said if the pumping of sewage does not stop immediately, they will be fined $500. If you have a similar problem, you can report it to Detroit’s Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department at 313-628-2451.
Family still seeking justice as 2012 murder of Eastern Michigan University student remains unsolved
YPSILANTI, Mich. – The family of an Eastern Michigan University (EMU) student who was found murdered in her apartment in 2012 are still looking for justice. The family recently want the Ypsilanti Police Department to hand the case over to Michigan State Police. The Niswender family said Christmas is a particularly difficult time for them. “I still feel anger that it’s been eight years and we were told this as a solvable case,” Turnquist said. “Why has it been eight years?”Julia was 23-years-old when the Eastern Michigan University student was found dead in her Ypsilanti apartment on Dec. 11, 2012.
Teen suing Sterling Heights Jimmy John’s store says she was raped by former co-worker
STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. – A 17-year-old and her family are suing the franchise of a Sterling Heights Jimmy John’s store after the teen said she was raped by a former employee. The teen, who has a disability, said that in August, Jerry Brown-Pegues forced her into a storage room and assaulted her. Documents show that the owner -- Turner Services Group in Clinton Township -- was aware of Brown-Pegues’ prior sexual assault crime and kept him on staff. He served time in prison, was out on parole and got a job as a delivery driver at the Jimmy John’s store. On Friday, attorneys for Turner Services said they are reviewing the case and declined to comment.
A look at group texts between suspects in terrorist plot against Michigan Gov. Whitmer
Details of the secret group chat held by some of the suspects in the alleged domestic terrorism plot to kidnap and kill Gov. Local 4 Defenders saw the group’s conversation in which one member alerted them that police questioned a former roommate of his in Milford. All defendants on the group chat are from Metro Detroit. Fox reportedly wasn’t told that members believed the suspected domestic terrorist plot had gotten out. Many of the suspects in the alleged domestic terrorism plot to kidnap and kill Gov.
Bond lowered for twin brothers charged in terrorist plot to kidnap Gov. Whitmer
Many of the suspects in the alleged domestic terrorism plot to kidnap and kill Gov. In court Wednesday, the Null brothers were hoping they might be released right away. The state said the Null brothers are a danger to police, elected officials and to the public. The judge at first denied the request to lower the $250,000 bond for the brothers, and then quickly agreed to change that to a 10% cash surety bond. The judge said if and when the brothers post bond, they will be on a GPS tether, they can work but cannot go anywhere near the governor.
Investigators share key pieces of evidence they found on day Danielle Stislicki disappeared
FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – It’s been nearly four years since Danielle Stislicki disappeared, and Local 4 spoke one-on-one with investigators of the case about some key pieces of evidence they found that day. King is the Farmington Hills police chief now, but four years ago, he was one of the first investigators to arrive at Danielle’s Farmington Hills apartment. Jessica Perry, Danielle’s cousin, said they are just a few years apart in age and they grew up together. Her memories of Danielle revolve around the holidays -- which are now very different for the Stislicki family. You can see some photos of Danielle Stislicki in the gallery below.
Danielle Stislicki’s grandmother, friend open up about her mysterious disappearance 4 years later
FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – It’s been nearly four years since Danielle Stislicki mysteriously vanished, and her case is still unsolved. “We want her found because we want to have a place for her,” Carol Stislicki, Danielle’s grandmother, said. Carol Stislicki, Danielle Stislicki's grandmother. You can see some photos of Danielle Stislicki in the gallery below. She had an apartment in Farmington (Hills).”Danielle was living at that Farmington Hills apartment when she disappeared.
Federal lawsuit filed against city of Dearborn, police department
DEARBORN, Mich. – A federal lawsuit was filed after a local father said he asked for directions from a police officer and was assaulted. Court documents claim Luther Gonzalez-Hall, 22, asked Dearborn Police officer Marvin Sanders for directions and the interaction ended with the officer assaulting and choking Gonzalez-Hall. At one point during the confrontation, Sanders’ bodycam falls to the ground. “I didn’t believe that it was real.”Now Gonzalez-Hall is suing Sanders, the city of Dearborn and the Dearborn Police Department for the way he was treated. When Local 4 asked about the status of officer Sanders, the Dearborn Police Department immediately asked the Defenders to submit a Freedom of Information Act request.
New warrants issued for Wisconsin man charged in plot to kidnap Michigan governor
An alleged co-conspirator of the foiled domestic terror plot appeared in a Wisconsin court on Wednesday. He is accused of providing material support to the “Wolverine Watchmen” in their effort to allegedly attempt to kidnap the Michigan governor. Brian Higgins, of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, appeared in a hearing Wednesday via YouTube. District Attorney Brenda Yaskal says there is now a warrant for Higgins’ arrest in both Michigan and Wisconsin. Higgins allegedly traveled to Michigan to take part in the group’s surveillance of the governor’s home up north.
Farmington school board chaos: Superintendent, 2 board members resign
FARMINGTON, Mich. – As the chaos surrounding the Farmington school board continues, the superintendent and two board members resigned during an explosive, emotional meeting. “This is painful, very painful,” school board President Pamela Green said. “I have the utmost respect for Dr. Herrera.”Farmington Public Schools Superintendent Robert Herrera, who was hired just last year, resigned Monday night during an explosive, emotional board meeting. Superintendent, board members allege harassment, ‘dysfunctional behavior’The superintendent of Farmington Public Schools as well as two members of the district’s Board of Education cited allegations of harassment and “dysfunctional behavior.”Herrera filed a complaint against Smith for harassment. “Farmington Public Schools will continue to serve the students and families well in our community; the District has a strong leadership team that will continue to move the District forward.”Click here to read this full story.
Newly-freed man says corrupt Detroit police officer’s bogus testimony landed him in jail
DETROIT – A man previously charged with drug possession is suing the city of Detroit and its police department -- specifically after his arresting officer was found to be corrupt. Renard Austin, 40, of Detroit was arrested in October of 2018 when Detroit police raided his friend’s house. Austin did say, however, that one Detroit police officer was on him, big time. Austin claims the former officer told him “If you pay $10,000, this will all go away.”Mosely was one of several former Detroit police officers recently found to be corrupt. He has filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Detroit and the Detroit Police Department regarding Mosely’s alleged corrupt behavior.
Detroit contractor helps rehab veteran’s house for free
DETROIT – As America pauses to honor those who served our country on Veterans Day, a Detroit contractor is helping to rehab one veteran’s house free of charge. Renita Wilson, of SEIU Home Health Care Providers, was overcome with emotion when she checked on William Norman -- an 81-year-old Army veteran. Disability Network Wayne County, the Wayne County Community Action Agency and Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib came together to help Wilson. “When I got here, I was shocked,” said Orlando Robinson, of Flipping Detroit. “The damage was devastating.”Robinson owns Flipping Detroit, a contracting company.
‘One little incident could set someone off’: How police are working to keep polls safe in Michigan
What’s going to happen when residents around Michigan go to the polls Tuesday to vote in the General Election? One little incident could set someone off, so from a law enforcement standpoint, that is what you are worried about.”Is the state prepared for Tuesday? Election 2020: How WDIV reports election resultsWith that comes increased concerns about safety at the polls. “I think you’ve really got to keep an eye on the ballots,” Arena said. His office is on the lookout for anyone threatening voters who are trying to exercise their rights.
Menards security guards faces charges in 2nd incident involving injured customers
LIVONIA, Mich. – A store security guard was charged with assault and it appears it may not be an isolated incident. It’s the same security guard who was involved in an incident Aug. 8, in which a customer at a Menards store said his leg was broken over a dispute over wearing a mask. He said he could have been seriously hurt when he was thrown into the air and onto the floor by a security guard at the Livonia Menards. He said the security guard cursed at him for trying to exit through the entrance. RELATED: Man says Menards security guard in Livonia broke his leg for not wearing mask despite medical reason“What was Menards thinking keeping him there?"
Charges dropped against Westland man who accused Menards security guard of breaking his leg over mask policy
LIVONIA, Mich. – The case of an alleged assault over a mask mandate that occurred at a Menards store in Livonia has been dismissed. Though he was the one charged, Blake claims that a Menards security guard broke his leg for not wearing a mask into the Livonia store, despite having a medical reason not to wear one. Blake says on August 8 the security guard broke his leg during a takedown after notifying him that he had to wear a mask in the store. The customer said he tried to explain to the security guard that he had a health issue, but couldn’t get a word in before the guard got in his face. The security guard told police that he informed Blake of the policy, but Blake said that was not true.
West Bloomfield man charged in execution-style killings has long criminal history
Nicholas Bahri, 37, of West Bloomfield township, was arraigned Tuesday on 15 charges in the execution-style killings of a 6-year-old boy, the boy’s father and his father’s girlfriend. Prior to the recent killings, Bahri had developed an extensive criminal history and was released from prison just months ago. “I don’t think that anyone looking at the (criminal) history could forecast the crimes (Bahri) has been accused of, and possibly committed here,” said Local 4′s legal analyst Neil Rockind. Rockind says there are peculiar clues about Bahri’s criminal history. “(Bahri’s criminal record) shows someone who is sick, demented and who has really forfeited their right to to interact with the rest of us,” Rockind said.
'Crackpots’: How attorneys plan to defend Michigan men accused in Gov. Whitmer kidnapping plot
As some of the men accused in the domestic terror plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appear in court, we’re getting our first look at how the defense attorneys plan to present a much different story. The defense attorney for Ty Garbin -- one of 13 people charged after FBI agents uncovered the scheme -- has started to put his plan in motion. One of the defense attorney called the men “crackpots," saying their deliberations were all talk. FBI agents said three men from Metro Detroit were key players who were close to putting the plan into action.
Deal reached to fix Detroit Riverfront where dock collapse spilled contaminated soil into river
DETROIT – A deal has been reached to fix the Detroit Riverfront where a dock collapsed, spilling contaminated soil into the river. On Monday, Revere Dock signed an administrative consent agreement with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. As part of the deal, the restoration work at the site is expected to be done by July 2021. In May, this litigation produced an agreement, requiring Revere Dock, LLC to obtain permits from EGLE and the US Army Corp of Engineers for a dock restoration. In May, this litigation produced an agreement, requiring Revere Dock, LLC to obtain permits from EGLE and the US Army Corp of Engineers for a dock restoration.
Driver seriously injured after 40-pound sandbag thrown through windshield from overpass on I-96
LYON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A driver was seriously injured over the weekend when someone threw a 40-pound sandbag through her windshield from an overpass on I-96 in Lyon Township, according to police. A woman was driving along I-96 when a man on the Old Plank Road overpass, which is under construction, started throwing sandbags onto the highway, according to authorities. Michigan State Police say a man throwing 40-pound sandbags off an overpass on I-96 in Lyon Township hit a vehicle and injured a woman late Sunday night. (Michigan State Police)The man who threw the sandbag had crashed his truck on I-96, police said. Workers near the overpass said they believe the man grabbed bags that had been holding down caution signs.
‘Truly evil, unthinkable and senseless’ -- Warren police commissioner speaks out on the murders of 6-year-old boy, woman
‘Truly evil, unthinkable and senseless’ -- Warren police commissioner speaks out on the murders of 6-year-old boy, womanPublished: October 2, 2020, 12:16 pmPolice in Warren held a press conference Friday after authorities found a woman and a boy dead Thursday morning while trying to notify the family of a man whose body was discovered in a burning car.
Woman, boy found dead in Warren during investigation of body burned in Detroit car fire
WARREN, Mich. – Police found a woman and a boy dead inside a Warren home while trying to notify the family of a man whose body was discovered in a burning car in Detroit. Warren police officers responding to a scene at Dequindre Road and Otis Avenue on Oct. 1, 2020. (WDIV)During the course of the investigation, officials identified the body -- a Warren man. Warren officers went to the home before 11 a.m. Thursday in the area of Dequindre Road and Otis Avenue, police said. There was no answer at the home, but Warren police found the bodies of a woman and a body inside, according to authorities.
Police investigate possible double murder at Warren home
WARREN, Mich. – Police are investigating a possible double murder inside a Warren home, Local 4 has learned. Warren police officers responding to a scene at Dequindre Road and Otis Avenue on Oct. 1, 2020. When Warren officers arrived, they discovered what appeared to be a double homicide. They’re waiting for official word from investigators. Warren police Commissioner Bill Dwyer was also at the scene.
4 doctors, 2 nurse practitioners, 3 pharmacists among 19 indicted in Metro Detroit drug scheme
DETROIT – Four doctors, two nurse practitioners and three pharmacists are among the 19 people who have been indicted in connection with an elaborate drug scheme that went on for years, officials said. The opioid epidemic is still very much a problem in Metro Detroit, with people addicted to and dying from pain pills, heroin and fentanyl. Oxycodone, Percocet and hydrocodone are powerful pain pills that were pedaled on the streets for cash. “These people are greedy and they don’t care about the average citizen,” said Steve Dolunt, the former assistant Detroit police chief. “Average people, some people, have pain,” Dolunt said.
Man punched by Detroit police officers says he was asking why they took down his friend
DETROIT – A man who was seen on video being punched multiple times in the head by two Detroit police officers said he was asking them why they took down his friend. Darius Bell, 25, told the Local 4 Defenders he demanded officers tell him why they rolled up and took down Kenneth Pierson. Bell said officers used a Taser on him, and he was worried they were going to leave him with serious injuries. In the video, Bell tries to show officers a card of his family member who works for the Detroit Police Department. Detroit police officers said they were on patrol and could see a gun in Pierson’s waistband.
Michigan police working with feds to combat illegal firearms, violent crime
DETROIT – Police in Michigan are working with federal officials to take violent offenders off the street and confiscate illegal guns. Police officers and federal officials are finding illegal guns on many more people. “We don’t want them there if they are illegal,” Schneider said. Nobody would.”As part of Operation Legend, federal officials plan to target violence in America’s most violent cities. Schneider said the reality is that since the expansion of the operation was announced over the summer, local police are working with feds to arrest violent offenders.