BY MATT TROUTMAN
CEDAR — Leelanau County sheriff’s deputies used Tasers to subdue a knife-wielding Cleveland Township man during an assault investigation.
The suspect, 49, was taken to Munson Medical Center for a psychiatric evaluation following the Saturday evening incident. Lt. Clint Kerr said sheriff’s deputies have barely used their Tasers since they were issued about four years ago, but the devices came in handy during the assault inquiry.
“That’s our first successful Taser deployment since these were issued,” Kerr said.
Deputies were called to a Ridge Cliff Trail home at 7:51 p.m. for a report of a man assaulting a house guest. Undersheriff Steve Morgan said the suspect’s estranged wife lived at the residence and had a friend, a 46-year-old man from Canada, visiting at the house. Authorities said the suspect attempted to punch and kick the man several times before fleeing on foot.
“He basically apologized and left the residence,” Morgan said.
Deputies traveled to the suspect’s Ski View Court home where his mother last saw him take a knife and disappear into the wintry weather wearing a t-shirt and blue jeans. A motorist told authorities they saw a man matching the suspect’s description walking along South Harbor Highway, west of Bohemian Road.
“When I arrived the suspect (was) standing on the shoulder of M-22, facing Sgt. James Kiessel. He had a knife in each hand and Sgt. Kiessel was ordering him to put them down,” Morgan said. “(The suspect) had blood on both hands.”
Morgan said deputies spent about 90 seconds unsuccessfully ordering the suspect to drop the knives. He said a deputy then deployed a Taser, but one of the device’s probes missed the mark and the suspect continued to resist.
“Then I deployed my Taser and he fell to the ground,” Morgan said. “He fell back into (a) plowed portion of the roadway and that’s when he struck his head.”