Officer Saves Drowning Woman, Gets Assaulted by Companion, Faces Hostile Crowd

Officer Saves Drowning Woman, Gets Assaulted by Companion, Faces Hostile Crowd
(Chief John Fitzgerald, Keego Harbor Police, July 19, 2020)
Keego Harbor, MI – At approximately 7:00pm the KHPD Marine Patrol Officer observed two persons in the water off Ward’s Point and a Personal Watercraft (PWC) floating nearby.

As the officer approached he observed a female in the water screaming for help stating she couldn’t swim. The officer performed a water rescue safely getting the 33 year old Detroit resident into the marine patrol boat.

The driver of the PWC was able to get back on the PWC and pull alongside the KHPD boat. At that point the 27 year old male Inkster resident told the female to get back on the PWC and she did even though they were arguing. The marine officer told them he would follow them to shore to to ensure their safety.
As the marine officer followed he noticed that the 27 year old male was operating the PWC in an erratic manner and entered the sandbar area at an excessive speed. They stopped near a pontoon boat and the officer decided to investigate the PWC operator for possibly being intoxicated while operating.

The 27 year old male was uncooperative though out the investigation and the officer found probable cause to place him under arrest for Operating While Impaired. At that point the male attempted to flee the KHPD boat and in the ensuing struggle pulled the officer into the lake as he went over the side of the KHPD boat. The suspect then pushed the officer away and fled in the water.
The marine officer had called for assistance and a citizen gave the arriving officers a ride on his boat to the scene. The other officers assisted in taking the suspect into custody as the marine officer stepped back to help de-escalate the situation as a crowd was becoming hostile towards the officers and demanding they release the suspect.

The suspect was finally placed into custody and transported to an area hospital for medical evaluation and completion of the OWI investigation. He was then lodged at the Oakland County Jail.
We would like to thank the Orchard Lake, Sylvan Lake and West Bloomfield Police Departments along with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division for their assistance to our officer as well as several citizens who offered their assistance.

NOTE:  Police Reports come directly from the Police Department or agency involved and are written by the person or agency listed below the title.  We generally run these “as is” or with minimal editing for punctuation, spelling, etc. Suspects should not be presumed guilty.  Those needing more information about a case are encouraged to follow up with the reporting agency or court system for the most current information.

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