BEULAH — A downstate man apparently thought he was fighting zombies and wild animals with a machete during an early-morning incident when discovered by a passerby who called 911 for help, authorities said.
Court and police records show the man reportedly charged at the responding police officer with the machete in hand, before dropping the weapon and submitting to arrest in the face of the officer’s loud, vocal demands — and drawn sidearm.
“He was seeing all kinds of things out there — everything from bears and wolves and then to zombies — and thought he was beheading them around his vehicle,” said Lt. Derrick Carroll, Michigan State Police public information officer.
Authorities charged Jordan Lee Cook, 22, of Lansing, with two felonies and driving while under the influence after he was arrested Jan. 5 by an MSP trooper, court and police records show.
Carroll said the trooper found Cook struck and killed two deer on a Benzie County road east of Thompsonville at about 2:30 a.m. Another motorist stopped to help and believed something “was off” and that Cook was “acting funny,” before driving 150 yards away and calling for emergency responders, he said.
Police said they believe Cook may have been under the influence of intoxicating substances based on both his behavior and irrational comments made that night. Results of a toxicology screening remain pending, Carroll confirmed.
Records show Cook told troopers he believed he was “fighting off zombies.”
Authorities arraigned Cook on Jan. 6 in Benzie County’s 85th District Court on charges of felonious assault with a dangerous weapon, felony carrying a weapon with unlawful intent, and misdemeanor driving under the influence. He has since posted the required 10 percent of his $20,000 bond and was released from Benzie County Jail in Beulah, officials confirmed.
Benzie County Prosecutor Sara Swanson said while it will be up to the court-appointed attorney assigned to Cook’s case, she suspects there may be a need for mental health evaluation for competency.
No defense lawyer has yet filed appearance documents in the case, court officials confirmed.
The situation could have taken a deadly turn and the prosecutor said she’s glad it didn’t go that way.
“I’m happy that the officer was safe and it didn’t go any further,” Swanson said.
Carroll agreed, adding how fortunate Cook’s compliance was in the face of possible deadly force, especially considering his potential altered state of mind that night on Lindy Road in Colfax Township.
MSP also that night confiscated three unloaded long guns from the trunk of Cook’s vehicle, which was heavily damaged in the collision with the deer. The guns were taken because the wrecked vehicle was being towed away, Carroll said.
Cook does not face any criminal charges connected to the guns taken from his vehicle.
“Those weren’t the problem. The problem was charging at the trooper with the machete,” Carroll said.
Cook’s next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 21.
If convicted, he could face a sentence up to five years in prison or a $2,500 fine for the felony weapons charge, as well as up to four years in prison and a possible $2,000 fine for the felonious assault charge. State guidelines would not allow for consecutive sentences.