A report of a man slumped over in his vehicle turned into an arrest for fleeing and eluding in the Howard City area last week.
According to the Montcalm County Sheriff Office, it was reported about 4:44 p.m. last Wednesday, June 25, that a man was slumped over in a vehicle that was parked in the parking lot of Bethel Lutheran Church, in the 18000 block of West Howard City-Edmore Road. Medical staff arrived first on scene and tried to speak to the man, but he drove away. As he was leaving the parking lot, his vehicle struck a member of the medical staff, who was not injured.
The deputy arrived in the area and began to search for the suspect vehicle, a 1998 Chevrolet S-10 pickup, and located it on Almy Road near Amy School Road. The deputy initiated a traffic stop but the suspect fled from the deputy. The pursuit led through the back roads of Reynolds Township, where the suspect drove in excess of 85 Mph and disregarded stop signs. The suspect eventually pulled over on the on ramp of north bound U.S. 131at M-82.
The man was identified as James Carl Leichtweis, 54, of Detroit. He was arrested and arraigned on a charge of Fleeing and Eluding Fourth Degree and held on a $1,000 bond. Leichtweis has also been charged with reckless driving in connection with the pursuit and him striking a Montcalm County Emergency Services employee. A charge of Fleeing and Eluding Fourth Degree carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison while the reckless driving charge carries a maximum sentence of 93 months in jail.