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Tag Archive | "Kent County Sheriff’s Office"

Arrests made in gun thefts



Imperial Gunworx, in the Village of Sparta, was broken into early Sunday morning and 19 handguns were stolen. Photo from Woodtv.com.

Four people have been arrested in connection with gun thefts last Sunday in both Sparta and Kentwood.

According to the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, they assisted the Sparta Police Department on Sunday, July 14, at 3:33 a.m. at a breaking and entering at Imperial Gunworx, at 134 E. Division in the Village of Sparta. Four suspects forced entry into the store using concrete slabs and bricks to shatter the glass in the front door, and then shattered the glass in the display case. They stole 19 handguns.

Another gun store, Armory Valentine, in Kentwood, was also broken into the early morning hours of July 14. Police said that the four suspects, who appear to be the same ones as in the Sparta case, stole additional firearms including semi-automatic rifles.

On July 15, the Wyoming Police Department responded to a suspicious situation involving three suspicious males entering a house under construction. The three suspicious individuals were located by police. During the Wyoming Police Officers investigation, a backpack that had been observed on one of the suspicious individuals was found nearby with nine stolen Imperial Gunworx handguns inside.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office and the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) began investigating this case. Investigators were able to identify four juvenile suspects. Search warrants were executed at two different addresses in Kent County and additional stolen handguns and rifles were recovered.

One adult suspect is in Federal custody and his name will be released pending arraignment. Three juveniles have been arrested and lodged at Kent County Juvenile Detention Facility.

This case remains under investigation. The suspects involved in the Sparta and Kentwood breaking and entering cases are not suspected to be involved in two other recent gun theft cases: Barracks 616 in Cascade Township was burglarized last week Wednesday, and Long Range Archery and Firearms in Holland was also burglarized Sunday morning, July 14. 

If you have any information about any of the Gun Store theft cases, please call the Kent County Sheriff’s Office at 616-632-6357, Silent Observer at 616-774-2345, or the ATF.

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Community walk



On Wednesday, May 29, Mrs. Bellamy and Mr. Telman’s kindergarten classes went on a community walk. Their first stop was the police station where The Kent County Sheriff Department talked to the kids about safety and then let the kids explore their vehicles. The next stop was the Post Office, where the kids mailed a persuasive letter home to their parents. Next they enjoyed a quick snack on the way to the Fire Station, where they learned safety tips, explored equipment and vehicles and sprayed water from a firehouse! Then they visited the library where they learned about the summer reading program, and enjoyed a couple of stories along with some movement songs. Lastly, students and parent volunteers enjoyed pizza from Little Caesar’s at Morley Park. 

Students learned about safety from the Kent County Sheriff’s Office. 

Thank you to our community for teaching our youngest students about safety and allowing them to experience real life heroes; ordinary people who serve and risk to keep others safe. These hands on experiences are invaluable and memorable.

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Woman killed in Courtland Twp crash


By Judy Reed

Three people were injured and a woman was killed in a crash in Courtland Township Monday.

According to the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, the crash occurred at the intersection of Tefft Ave and 13 Mile Road at about 6 p.m. Monday, April 22. Police said that Anne Van Dommelen, 68, of Rockford, was traveling south on Tefft in a 2016 Nissan Murano when she failed to stop at the stop sign at 13 Mile Rd and collided with a westbound 2006 Mercury Mountaineer driven by Bryan Russell, 44, of Cedar Springs. Traffic traveling on 13 Mile Rd does not stop at the intersection.

Anne Van Dommelen was pronounced dead at the scene.

Russell was transported to the hospital by ambulance with possible broken bones. His two passengers—Latrice Russell, 38, and Leland Russell, 9—also went to the hospital by ambulance with minor injuries.

 Assisting the Kent County Sheriff’s Office at the scene was Courtland Township Fire and Rescue, Rockford Ambulance, and Consumers Energy, due to a power pole being broken.

The crash is still under investigation.

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Snowmobiler drowns in Lincoln Lake



Joseph Brown died last Wednesday evening, February 13, when his snowmobile dropped into open water on Lincoln Lake. Photo from gofundme page.

An evening snowmobile ride on Lincoln Lake with a friend turned into tragedy when one of the riders drove into open water.

A 911 call came into Kent County Dispatch on February 13 at approximately 10:25 p.m. reporting a snowmobile accident on Lincoln Lake in Spencer Township. The caller reported he was on the lake on a snowmobile riding with another person who was on a separate snowmobile. The caller believed the other rider went into open water. 

Multiple fire departments along with the Kent County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area immediately. The caller was on unstable ice and was rescued by Cannon Fire Department’s hovercraft. The hovercraft was then used to search for the missing rider. The Sheriff’s Office also deployed a drone with a Forward Looking Infrared Camera to search the lake. They were not able to locate the missing rider or his snowmobile after several hours and finally called off the search. 

The search resumed at daylight on February 14. Joseph Brown, 29, of Spencer Township, was found near the bottom of the lake, not far from where his friend was rescued.

Sgt. Joel Roon said that the recovery was challenging because the water was dark, cold, and very deep—about 50-60 feet. It was near where Cedar Creek flows into Lincoln Lake. “There’s a lot of moving water under there and it’s a recipe for dangerous conditions,” he said.

Roon said it looked like Brown made an effort to get to the ice shelf because they found some of his clothing. “We believe he tried some things ice fishermen would do like shed his shoes and bulky clothing.” He noted that it looked like he made it 15-20 feet before going under. 

Roon said the snowmobile probably would not be recovered right away. He said the DNR would get involved because of the fluids in the sled, and currently it was too dangerous to try to remove it.

A gofundme account has been set up to assist with funeral expenses. Go to https://bit.ly/2GV1Qzg to donate.

A benefit is also being held this Saturday, February 23, at 3 p.m. at the Trufant hall. Dinner $5 a plate, 50/50 raffle tickets, and a live auction. Live band High Risk will be playing as well. 

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Two injured in Sparta crash


Two people were injured in this crash at 13 Mile Rd and Alpine Avenue in Sparta Township on Friday, October 12. Photo from woodtv.com.

Two were sent to the hospital last Friday, October 12, after a crash involving a car, a jeep, and a Road Commission truck in Sparta Township.

According to the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, the crash occurred about 10:44 a.m. The investigation revealed that a 2000 Toyota driven by John Vanbaren, 30, of Grand Rapids, was facing northbound at the stop sign on Alpine Ave at 13 Mile Rd. He pulled out in front of an eastbound 2018 Jeep Cherokee driven by Amber Morton, 23, of Sparta who had the right of way. The Toyota was struck on the driver’s side and pushed into a Kent County Road Commission vehicle that was stationary on west bound 13 Mile Rd waiting to turn southbound on to Alpine Ave.

The driver of the Toyota was transported to St. Mary’s by Rockford Ambulance with serious injuries. The driver of the Jeep was also transported to St. Mary’s by Rockford Ambulance with minor injuries.

Both drivers were belted. Alcohol and speed were not a factor.

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Woman killed in crash


Opal Fugitt. Facebook photo.

A Greenville woman died last Friday after a crash at the intersection of Northland Drive and 14 Mile Rd.

According to the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, the crash occurred about 8:30 p.m. September 7. A 2010 Ford Escape driven by Opal Fugitt, 74, of Greenville, was headed south on Northland Drive in the left hand turn lane to head east on 14 Mile, and a 2003 Honda CRV, driven by Joshua Lange, 28, of Cedar Springs, was headed northbound on Northland Drive, when the two vehicles collided in the intersection.

Both drivers were taken to the hospital by ambulance with apparent broken bones. Mrs. Fugitt later died at the hospital.

Police said neither alcohol nor drugs appear to be a factor. Courtland Township Fire Department and Rockford Ambulance both assisted at the scene.

A new left turn light was recently installed at that intersection. The Post asked police whether Mrs. Fugitt had a green arrow to turn, but they said the crash itself and cause are still under investigation.

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Motorcyclist injured in crash


A motorcyclist was sent to the hospital with serious injuries after a crash in Oakland Township Wednesday.

According to the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, the crash occurred on Wednesday, September 12, at about 11:19 a.m. at the intersection of Wabasis Ave NE and Holmden Dr NE.

Police said that a minivan, driven by Marie Lorraine Meyer, 41, of Rockford, was making a left turn off Holmden Dr on to southbound Wabasis, when a northbound motorcycle struck the minivan. 

The driver of the motorcycle, Brandon Alexander Gutierrez, 27, of Belding, sustained serious injuries, but they were not considered life-threatening. He was wearing a helmet.

Two minor passengers in the minivan sustained minor injuries and were sent to the hospital to be checked out. The driver of the minivan was not injured.

The crash remains under investigation. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office was assisted on scene by Rockford Ambulance, Oakfield and Courtland Fire Departments.

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Deputy receives life saving award


Captain David Kok, Road patrol commander with the Kent County Sheriff’s Office (left) presents Deputy Todd Frank with a Life Saving award for his rescue of an 11-year-old from a fire. Photo courtesy of Deputy Ryan Morin.

by Judy Reed

Kent County Sheriff Deputy Todd Frank received a Life Saving award last week for his rescue of an 11-year-old from a mobile home fire last summer.

Frank was sitting in his cruiser filling out a report in the North Park lot on July 22, 2017, when a woman came running up to his cruiser yelling that there was a fire in a trailer in Cedar Springs Mobile Estates (which abuts the parking lot he was in) and that people were still inside. Frank ran towards the area and could see smoke coming from the area. He alerted dispatch to send the fire department.

Frank said it was chaotic when he arrived on the scene at 336 Carol St.

“I started herding people together as swiftly as I could. It was a family of five, including a newborn,” explained Frank. A woman was trying to go back in the back door and there was heavy smoke rolling out. I grabbed her and told her she couldn’t go back in. She said her 11-year-old son was in there.”

The medal Deputy Frank received with his Life Saving award. Post photo by J. Reed.

The boy had reportedly been outside but gone back in to get a pet.

Frank went to the front door to try to get in, but a sofa was blocking his way. “The fire had started in the air conditioner, which caught the curtains on fire, then spread to the sofa, and they had tried to throw the sofa out the front door but it got stuck,” he explained.

Frank then found a window and smashed it and began yelling for the boy. He saw the boy run past then disappear in the smoke. “He was scared. I was afraid he was going to get smoke inhalation,” remarked Frank.

When the boy ran by again, Deputy Frank reached inside and grabbed him and pulled him outside.

“I did what any deputy would do under those circumstances,” he said. “Any of us would do the same thing.”

Frank was pleased that the story had a happy ending. The whole family, including the pets, got out safely. But that hasn’t always been the case at the fires that Frank has gone to.

Frank has been with the Kent County Sheriff’s Office for 22 years. But before he went to the Sheriff’s Office, he spent a few years with the Cedar Springs Police Department. His first week on the job, in the early 1990s, he went to the scene of a fire in the same mobile home park. He tried to save a baby that was inside. “She was already gone,” he said sadly. He wasn’t injured but was treated for smoke inhalation.

During his last week with the Cedar Springs Police Department, there was another fire in Cedar Springs Mobile Estates. This time two people died in the fire.

“For a long time I would hear a fire tone and just feel sick to my stomach,” he said.

During his tenure with the KCSO, Frank has been a school resource officer in Kent City, done community policing, served on road patrol in the Cascade area, and a myriad of other duties.

But serving here in Cedar Springs is like coming home.

“It’s been great for me. I already know a lot of people; the generations might be new, but the families are the same,” he remarked. He likes that it’s more rural. And since he lives in the area, he is serving his own community.

This is not first time Frank has been recognized for an action. He and another officer tackled a suicidal subject who was going to jump off the overpass on M57 that runs over US131. He received a commendation for that, too.

According to the Life Saver award for the fire rescue, “It was the quick and decisive actions by Deputy Todd Frank that ultimately saved the young boy’s life.”

But Frank doesn’t take all the credit for the fire rescue. “The fire department did a great job of putting the fire down,” he said. “I was just in the right place at the right time.”

Congratulations, Deputy Frank! Thank you for all that you and your fellow deputies do to keep our community safe.

 

 

 

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Woman injured in crash


A Cedar Springs woman was critically injured last Thursday when her vehicle was hit from behind by another vehicle.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the crash occurred on Thursday, August 16, about 6:47 p.m. in the 15000 block of Algoma Avenue, in Solon Township.

The investigation showed that a 2003 Oldsmobile Bravada, driven by Cynthia DeLoof, 42, of Newaygo, was traveling northbound on Algoma when her vehicle collided with a 2008 Chrysler 300, also traveling northbound. Witnesses reported that the Chrysler, driven by Lila DeLine, 36, of Cedar Springs, had slowed or stopped on the roadway preparing to turn and was rear-ended by the at fault vehicle.

The driver of the Chrysler was transported by ambulance to the hospital in critical condition. The driver of the at-fault vehicle refused medical treatment at the scene. Alcohol was not a factor in the accident. 

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Solon Township Fire Department and Rockford Ambulance.

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Parents charged in baby’s death


Seth Michael Welch

Tatiana Elena Fusari

The parents of a 10-month-old child who died Thursday, August 2, in Solon Township have been charged with homicide-felony murder and first-degree child abuse.

Seth Michael Welch, 27, and Tatiana Elena Fusari, 27, found their infant daughter Mary unresponsive Thursday and called authorities at 12:06 p.m. to their home at 16509 Algoma Avenue, known by many in the community as Blackacre Farm. The baby was pronounced dead at the scene.

An officer at the scene reported that the baby’s eyes and cheeks were sunken into her head. 

Deputies executed a search warrant for evidence of child abuse/neglect causing the child’s death. The couple told police that they noticed their daughter’s skinny appearance the month prior. Fusari reportedly told police they did not seek medical help because they did not want Child Protective Services called, had a lack of faith and trust in medical services and cited religious reasons.

The parents were taken into custody August 3, after an autopsy revealed the cause of death was ruled as malnutrition/dehydration due to neglect on the part of the adult caregivers. The baby’s death was ruled a homicide, and the Kent County Prosecutor authorized charges on August 5. 

Welch and Fusari were arraigned on Monday, August 6. Bail was denied for both, and they have a probable cause hearing set for August 20 at 63rd District Court at 8:45 a.m.

The couple’s other two children were placed with family members.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office said they had only responded to the home once before on a matter unrelated to child welfare. 

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the Kent County Sheriff’s Office at 616-632-6357 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

ORIGINAL STORY

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