Traverse City Record-Eagle

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August 31, 2013

Deputy chases down suspect, breaks finger

TRAVERSE CITY — A Grawn man is behind bars after he broke a Grand Traverse County sheriff’s deputy’s finger in a struggle following a police chase, authorities said.

The incident occurred Wednesday about 6:45 p.m. when the deputy was dispatched to Blair Township on reports of a reckless driver swerving a black SUV on Vance Road. Sheriff Tom Bensley said a brief chase began when the 23-year-old driver “bailed” on the deputy who approached his vehicle after a traffic stop.

The vehicle chase stopped and a foot pursuit followed when the suspect crashed into a fence in a yard on South Needle Drive and ran away from his SUV.

“The good guys ran him down and caught him,” Bensley said.

But the incident didn’t end there. The deputy, who ran down and tackled the fleeing driver, reported he broke his finger when the suspect continued to resist arrest before being handcuffed. Bensley said the deputy will be off work until he undergoes a more thorough medical exam.

“It happens to be his writing and shooting hand,” he said.

The Grawn driver was arrested on charges of fleeing and eluding, resisting and obstructing a police officer causing injury, possession of oxycontin, first-degree operating while impaired and driving on a suspended license.

The suspect also had outstanding arrest warrants from Grand Traverse and Ogemaw counties. A Breathalyzer test showed the driver had a .15 percent blood alcohol content.

A 24-year-old Mesick man who was a passenger in the vehicle also was arrested on a resisting and obstructing charge. Bensley said a third occupant complied with deputies and was not arrested.

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