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Tag Archive | "threats"

Charges denied in Sand Lake threats case


By Judy Reed

The Kent County Prosecutor’s Office has denied charges in the case of Nelson Township resident Scott Britton confronting Tom Norton, the President of the Village of Sand Lake. 

Britton is the husband of Robyn Britton, the Supervisor of Nelson Township. Both Robyn and Norton are running for the Nelson Supervisor seat in next Tuesday’s election, and tensions are running high in the community. 

The confrontation occurred the evening of Wednesday, July 18, after Scott Britton was made aware that someone had put used toilet paper on his wife’s office door. Nelson Township and the Village of Sand Lake share offices in a municipal building there.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 100 block of W. Lake Street sometime after 8:15 p.m. on the night of July 18, on the report of threats/assault.

Norton said he had just gotten back from Indiana that day and was at a resident’s home, speaking with him outside about an upcoming tree removal, when a vehicle pulled up and a man got out and yelled, “Are you Thomas Norton?”

“I said yes and he then violently moved towards my direction and stated, ‘I’m Scott Britton and I’m going to %$#@ kill you,” Norton later wrote in an application for a personal protection order. “He then raised his hand and pointed it toward me. I was 98 percent certain he was going to do something. He then screamed, ‘Did you S#$% paper my wife’s door Tuesday night?”

Norton said he told him no, that he was in Indiana. He said that Britton told him he didn’t believe him, that he was a liar, and stated again he was going to kill him. Norton then began to record the conversation as Britton moved away, and told him again that he was in Indiana and could prove it. Britton then yelled that Norton would need a restraining order when he proved he did it. He then left.

Norton pressed charges against Britton, saying he had concerns for the safety of his family.

Norton gave the Post a copy of a receipt showing he was in Indiana when he said he was, but Robyn Britton said she actually discovered the used toilet paper on her door the morning of July 12, not the day before the confrontation. She said her husband didn’t know when it occurred, because she didn’t tell him about it. Instead, she said someone in the office mentioned it to him on July 17, thinking he knew. Then her husband saw Norton outside on the night of July 18 and confronted him.

Robyn didn’t report the occurrence initially. She said the only people that could have done it would have needed a key—and that would mean they would have been a member of the staff of either Sand Lake or Nelson Township, the police department, or the fire department. “I was just hoping to get through all of this to the election. The date couldn’t come soon enough for me,” she said.

But after the confrontation occurred between her husband and Norton, she told one of the detectives at the Kent County Sheriff’s Office about all that had been occurring recently: the unproven accusation of her interfering in Sand Lake’s search of a Village clerk; the cease and desist letters sent by Norton’s attorney to four women, including herself, demanding that they retract statements made about him; the toilet paper on her door, etc. “I wanted them to understand why Scott had gotten so mad and I wanted it on file in case anything else happened,” she said. She also said that she couldn’t prove who put the toilet paper on her door.

Norton said he would also like to find out who did it, and would be willing to take a lie detector test to prove he didn’t do it.

On Tuesday, Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker told the Post that charges in the incident between Scott Britton and Tom Norton had been denied. “From our review of the report there were no punches thrown, no physical contact, the most physical action described in the report was a ‘hand out in a pointing fashion.’ Words were exchanged, but there is not enough here to file any sort of assault charges under these circumstances,” he said.

Norton was notified by the detective on the case. “I can understand not pressing charges because they think he’ll calm down after the election, but I’m still concerned about my family,” he said. “There was enough in the report for me to get the PPO.”

He also will be glad to see the end of the election. His supporters have told him of other people demanding that they take his signs down out of their yards. “We have lost 36 signs in the last 24 hours,” he said.

Robyn Britton said she hasn’t had anything to do with that. “No one in my family has touched a Tom Norton sign. I feel bad for him about that. I know how expensive they are and wouldn’t want someone touching mine,” she said.

See results of next Tuesday’s election in next week’s Post.

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Man pleads guilty to threats against police


Sylvester Jacob Estes

Sylvester Jacob Estes

The man who told officers last April that he “wanted to blow up a cop shop” pled guilty Monday, November 30, to making a false threat of terrorism, and being a second felony offender.

The incident occurred on April 23, when Sylvester Jacob Estes, 32, called police dispatch, from a location in Kent County (not the City of Cedar Springs), and said he was going to harm police officers and others, and that he was going to get weapons.

He was later found by Kent County Sheriff Deputies on Main Street in Cedar Springs, and allegedly told officers that he wanted to “blow up a cop shop.” According to Sgt. Jason Kelley, of the Kent County Sheriff Department’s Cedar Springs Unit, the man didn’t specify to deputies what “cop shop” he wanted to blow up, but a witness said he heard him say the Grand Rapids Police Department.

Estes was charged as a habitual offender because he stole a car in July 2009, and was convicted and sentenced to prison in November 2009. He was released in July 2012.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on the threats charge on January 6.

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Man arrested for threats against police


Sylvester Jacob Estes

Sylvester Jacob Estes

A man was arrested in Cedar Springs last month for threatening to hurt police and others.

The incident occurred on April 23, when Sylvester Jacob Estes, 32, called police dispatch, from a location in Kent County (not the City of Cedar Springs), and said he was going to harm police officers and others, and that he was going to get weapons.

He was later found by Kent County Sheriff Deputies on Main Street in Cedar Springs, and allegedly told officers that he wanted to “blow up a cop shop.” According to Sgt. Jason Kelley, of the Kent County Sheriff Department’s Cedar Springs Unit, the man didn’t specify to deputies what “cop shop” he wanted to blow up, but a witness said he heard him say the Grand Rapids Police Department.

Estes was arraigned on charges of making a false report or threat of terrorism, and a charge of being a habitual offender. He stole a car in Kent County in July 2009, and was convicted and sentenced to prison in November 2009. He was released in July 2012.

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