A man who took the law into his own hands is now facing charges of his own, and his victim has been sent to prison after violating parole.
According to Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent, officers were dispatched to a suspicious situation on Monday, December 6, at 9 p.m. When they arrived, they found a man, Jason James Hughes, 20, being held against his will, in handcuffs. He had been “taken into custody” by his brother-in-law, Lee Roy French, 27, of Coral.
The brother-in-law mentioned to Cedar Springs Police that he had made a police report with the Montcalm County Sheriff Department for a crime he said Hughes allegedly committed. French said he was instructed to hold Hughes if he came back to his home.
“Our investigation discovered that no official report was yet filed and it appears this suspect took it upon himself to hunt down this person,” said Chief Parent. He added that Hughes said he had also been assaulted in Montcalm County by French but had gotten away. “That incident will be investigated by the Montcalm County Sheriff Department,” said Parent.
On the night in question, French reportedly learned where Hughes was in Cedar Springs and made a phone call to the apartment. He told the person who answered that he was a police officer from Howard City working undercover and that he was on his way to the apartment. He also allegedly said they better let him inside when he got there, or they would also face charges.
After arriving at the apartment and placing handcuffs on Hughes, French then went to a pay phone and called the police dispatch center.
It was about this time last year that Cedar Springs Police arrested Hughes on a 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct charge for having sexual contact with a 13-year-old girl. In February he was sentenced to five years probation.
After arriving on the scene December 6, Cedar Springs Police called Hughes’ probation officer, who gave verbal approval for Hughes to be arrested and lodged in the Kent County jail on a probation violation. On December 17, his probation was revoked and he was sentenced to 20 months to five years in prison on the CSC offense.
Officers continued their investigation and later obtained an arrest warrant on French for impersonating a public officer, a one year misdemeanor, and a second count for assault and battery, a 93-day misdemeanor. He was booked into the jail on Christmas day, and released on December 26.