An alleged car thief got more than he bargained for when three women yanked him out of the vehicle he was trying to steal, held him down and made a citizen's arrest.
But when the women repeatedly called Detroit Police, they said nobody responded, so they decided to walk the man to the nearby Central District police station. On the way, they said they encountered a Detroit police officer — who they claim refused to take the man into custody.
Lydia Officer complained about the incident at Thursday's meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners; Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee promised to investigate.
The incident began about 1:50 p.m. on Jan. 15, when Officer, 40, was visiting her mother's home on Bethune Street near Woodward and Grand Boulevard, and saw the man breaking into her 2006 Chrysler Sebring.
"My friend (Sanchez Stevens, 38) and I ran outside and dragged him out of the car," Officer said. "There was a struggle — he was hitting us, and we were hitting him. We finally got him to the ground. He must've been thinking, 'I broke into the wrong car.'"
Officer's mother, Toni Grimmett, 63, said she called police three times. "After my daughter and her friend wrestled the man down, I called the police and told them, 'We're holding the man right now — please send somebody.' But nobody came."
As they waited for police to respond, Officer said she and her friend held the man down for about 20 minutes — "But it felt like forever," she said. "My friend started suffering an asthma attack."
A man walked by, and the women asked for his help. "Since the police weren't coming, we decided to just walk the (alleged car thief) to the police station, which is just two blocks away."
Officer and the Samaritan, whose name she never got, helped her walk the alleged thief to the station, while Grimmett attended to Officer's friend.
"On the way to the police station, we encountered a police officer at the Charter One Bank at Lothrop and Woodward. We told him what happened, and he said, 'Go ahead and walk him the rest of the way to the station, and I'll meet you there.' I asked him why he couldn't put him in the back of the car, but he wouldn't answer me."
A Wayne State University Police cruiser drove by. "As soon as the Wayne State cops pulled up, the (Detroit) officer took off," Officer said.
"The Wayne State cop was like, 'Where's he going?' Then they put him into the car and arrested him."
The Wayne State police told Officer that the man had an outstanding felony warrant. Officer said the man was arraigned in 36th District Court, although The News could not verify the charges Thursday, and is withholding the man's name.
When Officer complained at Thursday's commissioner's meeting, Godbee called the Detroit officer's behavior "inexcusable."
"This leads me to think maybe he was doing something he wasn't supposed to be doing," Godbee said. "We'll get to the bottom of this."
Officer said she didn't think what she was doing when she and her friend tackled the man.
"I wasn't trying to be a hero," she said. "I just didn't want my car stolen."
Way to go, cops! Just drive off when people want you to do your job, wtf. Or better yet, don't even show.
Also, can I just say how tickled I am that the woman's last name is "Officer"?