Police aren’t entirely sure of a man’s intentions when he was arrested, but based on items found inside his vehicle and other telltale signs, they’re pretty certain. that he was doing no good.
The arrest of the 26-year-old Lincoln Park man also demonstrated how having two officers involved in a situation like this can help avert potential tragedy.
The man came to the attention of police around 11:30 p.m. on May 6 in the 2200 block of Goddard Road. A patrol vehicle, manned by two officers, observed what they believed to be a suspicious vehicle driving through the neighborhoods.
As officers watched the vehicle from a distance, they noticed that the license plate had been removed and a dark-colored plastic covering was affixed to the upper portion of the windshield.
According to police, criminals often remove their license plates and cover up distinctive markings on their vehicles when committing criminal acts to avoid identification of witnesses.
The vehicle backed up near an alley and parked. Police believe the driver was watching the area for the purpose of committing a crime.
Before the man could act, officers activated their hazard warning lights and stopped directly in front of the vehicle in an effort to block any escape route.
Unbeknownst to the officer who approached the driver’s side of the vehicle, a fully loaded handgun with a round cartridge was resting in the front passenger seat within easy reach of the driver.
“Luckily the second officer approaching from the passenger side observed the weapon and alerted his partner,” Deputy Chief of Police Archie Hamilton said. “Officers ordered the man out of the vehicle; however, he attempted to roll up the tinted window on the driver’s side. The passenger side officer, with his gun drawn, ordered the man not to grab the gun, while the driver side officer opened the door and pulled the man out of the vehicle.
Inside the vehicle, officers found a cordless Sawzall saw, which police say is commonly used to steal catalytic converters. This appeared to be his goal, as police also found a catalytic converter that had been cut from a vehicle, bolt cutters, a ski mask, a car jack, a torch, several spare Sawzall blades and the plate. registration which had been withdrawn. was found in the hold.
The plastic coating stuck to the windshield obstructed a decal that acted as a unique feature.
Considering the suspect was dressed in black, had a ski mask, wore gloves, had his license plate removed, covered a distinctive sticker on his windshield and had a loaded firearm, Hamilton said police assumed that the man had left to victimize someone.
“However, there remain many unanswered questions regarding the true intent of this suspect,” Hamilton said. “Did he intend to steal catalytic converters? Or were his intentions more ominous? Either way, these officers did an incredible job of recognizing this individual and confronting him before he had the chance to victimize or further victimize our community. I cannot commend and thank these officers enough for their relentless determination. This incident underscores the outstanding work our law enforcement officers are doing on a daily basis while most people, including myself, are sleeping at home.
Hamilton said it was fortunate that two officers were involved in the incident, as the officer who approached the driver’s side of the vehicle never saw the gun.
“While we cannot say for sure what kind of impact the second officer had on the decision-making process of this particular individual, it is safe to believe that being confronted with the actions of two officers has a strong deterrent effect when it comes to criminals with the worst intentions,” he said.
The Wyandotte Police Department is working closely with the Wayne County District Attorney’s Office to determine criminal charges, which are pending.