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Man leads police on chase

A Kent City man is facing multiple charges after stealing gas and then leading police on a chase out of town.

According to Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent, Officer Paul Feutz was informed of a drive off of gasoline at the Admiral Gas Station, 194 S. Main Street on August 2, at 3:12 a.m.  A citizen was following the vehicle southbound on US-131, and Officer Feutz headed after the suspect.

Rockford City Officer Jason Bradley assisted as Officer Feutz caught up to the suspect vehicle near 14 Mile Road. The two patrol cars were able to bring the suspect to a stop but the driver quickly drove around one of the patrol cars in the grassy area and increased his speed as officers pursued him southbound on the freeway.

Parent said speeds varied from a high speed near 100 and a low speed of 30 mph. Traffic was light and officers arranged to have the Kent County Sheriff Department set up to deploy spike strips near the West River Drive exit.  The suspect drove over the spike strip causing a front tire to deflate. He then pulled over and fled from the van he was driving.  Officer Paul Feutz chased after the suspect into the tall grass and attempted to physically take the suspect down to the ground. After one attempt failed he utilized his TASER, which resulted in the suspect going down and complying with the officer’s verbal commands.

The suspect, a 24-year-old man from Tyrone Township, was checked at the scene by the ambulance medics and later taken to the hospital by Officer Feutz for an unrelated hand injury.  Due to other medical reasons, the suspect was admitted to the hospital for evaluation.

The suspect’s name will not be released until he is formally arrested and arraigned. The 1997 Ford van he was driving was determined to be stolen from the mobile home park where the suspect lived.  Police obtained a six count warrant for motor vehicle theft, fleeing and eluding, operating under the influence, resisting and opposing a police officer, driving on a suspended license, and retail fraud.  He will also be charged as a habitual offender.

Parent said that two vehicles that were heading south on US-131 following the slow-moving pursuit had damage to their tires after they drove over the spike strip deployed to stop the suspect.  “The deputy who deployed the spike strip had a malfunction and could not remove the strip from the roadway before the other cars passed by,” he explained.
Parent said that citizens should be reminded to stay back a considerable distance when there are multiple police vehicles ahead of them. “They may or may not have realized why the patrol cars were ahead with lights and sirens on. When officers bring a pursuit to an end there is a very good possibility that the suspect may run or officers will be standing in the roadway. Remember to give law enforcement time to safely handle the situation and when in doubt, simply come to a stop rather than pass through an unsafe situation,” he cautioned.

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