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Lawyer, relative of man shot by police officer in White Castle drive-thru speaks out

Police haven’t said why a Royal Oak police officer opened fire and fatally shot a 28-year-old man inside his vehicle at a White Castle drive-thru on April 11, and a lawyer and relative of the man who was killed believes charges should be filed.

The case remains under investigation by the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and no charges have been filed against the officer.

Police say Antonino T. Gordon, who was driving a relative’s BMW, fled a traffic stop and was later found waiting in the drive-thru line before he was shot.

Bloomfield Township attorney Joseph Dedvukaj, who is representing Gordon’s family, claims a woman who was in the drive-thru line behind Gordon and a patron inside the restaurant said the unidentified officer wasn’t directly in the path of Gordon’s vehicle.

The gunshots “were from the driver’s side, slightly behind the driver, the equivalent of shooting somebody in the back,” the attorney said.

The Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death a homicide resulting from gunshot wounds to the chest and arm.

Dedvukaj, whose niece was married to Gordon, says the witness who was inside the White Castle “told the cop to, ‘Stop, stop, don’t shoot him,’ and he kept shooting.”

The witness in the drive-thru said “she saw everything,” the attorney claims. “She gave a statement that this shooting did not have to happen.”

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office declined to comment on Dedvujak’s assertions.

“The attorney can claim whatever he wants to claim, but that does not mean his claims are necessarily correct, because the investigation is ongoing,” Oakland County Undersheriff Michalel McCabe told MLive in an email.

The family took possession of Gordon’s body and plans to conduct its own autopsy, Dedvukaj said. He said preliminary information provided to him by the family’s pathologist indicate Gordon was shot twice in the chest, from side. There was another graze wound on the left shoulder, Dedvukaj said.

“You can fear for your life if you’re in front of the vehicle,” Dedvukaj said of the possibility the police officer will claim self defense, “but at that point, what would you shoot — the windshield.”

Dedvukaj says the bullets entered the driver’s side of the vehicle.

He expects that surveillance footage from the White Castle restaurant — if not also the officer’s dashcam footage — will show exactly what happened.

Investigators seized the video and camera system, but “at some point I will get access to it,” Dedvukaj said.

Following the shooting, Royal Oak police released a statement that Gordon had “numerous contacts with law enforcement, including multiple arrests for operating while intoxicated and disorderly conduct” and “had an outstanding arrest warrant.”

According to Royal Oak 44th District Court Records, Gordon was convicted of operating while under the influence in May of 2016 for a 2015 incident. He was sentenced to a year of probation, and court records indicate he was charged with a probation violation in June 2017.

He had another operating while intoxicated charge dismissed in March 2016 and a resisting or obstructing police charge dismissed in April 2012.

Dedvukaj says there’s no way the officer knew Gordon had an outstanding warrant, because the car was owned and registered to the attorney’s brother.

He argues there have been “many cases that the cops are taking the law into their own hands, and they’re not following constitutional law.”

A group of demonstrators gathered in Oak Park Tuesday night to protest recent officer-involved shootings.

In another suburban Detroit shooting earlier this month, Troy police shot and killed 23-year-old Robert G. Issa on April 9 outside his family home when Issa allegedly charged police while armed with knives.

http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2018/04/attorney_for_man_shot_by_royal.html

Woman arrested for 5th OWI offense with teen in vehicle

WESTON, Wis. (WSAW) — A 37-year-old Wausau woman is in custody after operating a vehicle under the influence, 5th offense, with a teenager in her car.

A news release from the Wisconsin State Patrol North Central Region Wausau Post states a trooper stopped Stephanie Grosskopf’s car on Camp Phillips Road in Weston for an equipment failure Thursday at 3:15 p.m. The trooper observed indicators of impairment.

After a field sobriety test was performed, indications showed Grosskopf was driving under the influence of a controlled substance. A 14-year-old was also in the car.

Grosskopf was arrested for operating a motor vehicle while impaired, 5th offense, with a passenger under 16 years old, and for operating with a revoked licence.

http://www.wsaw.com/content/news/Wausau-woman-arrested-for–480317223.html

Colorado man charged in crash while under influence of alcohol, marijuana

JUNEAU — A 27-year-old Loveland, Colorado, man has been charged in injuring the passengers in his car during an accident last summer while under the influence of alcohol and marijuana.

Steven M. Cummings is charged with felony counts of use of a vehicle with controlled substance in blood – great bodily harm and operating a motor vehicle with a detectable amount of restricted controlled substance in his blood while causing an injury. He could face up to 12 years and 6 months in prison and a $25,000 fine if convicted of the charges.

According to the criminal complaint, Cummings was driving a 1996 Nissan car that struck a utility pole on Aug. 13 at 2:50 a.m. on Highway R at the intersection with Highway SC. Two passengers, a 20-year-old Loveland, Colorado, man and a 45-year-old Minneapolis man were passengers in the vehicle. The 45-year-old was extricated from the vehicle and flown to Summit Hospital in Oconomowoc via medical helicopter with life-threatening injuries. The 20-year-old was ejected from the vehicle. He was transported by ambulance to Watertown Hospital, and then transferred to UW Hospital in Madison with serious injuries. Cummings received minor injuries and was transported to Watertown Hospital.

The three had been working with a carnival at Riverfest in Watertown and had left to get something to eat.

Speed also is believed to be a factor in the crash.

Man charged after car ends up in Pigeon River

SHEBOYGAN – A 33-year-old Sheboygan man, suspected of driving a car into Pigeon River before departing while the passenger stayed at the scene, was charged recently in Sheboygan County Court with several felonies and misdemeanors in connection with the March 25 incident.

Prosecutors charged Andrew F. Christian with felonies for hit and run causing great bodily harm, and operating while intoxicated causing injury (second and subsequent offense), both felonies. Christian is also facing misdemeanors for operating a motor vehicle while revoked causing great bodily harm to another, and for obstructing an officer.

According to a criminal complaint, a county sheriff’s deputy dispatched to a report of a car in the river found Christian in another vehicle along Rangeline Road. Christian had a large cut to the side of his head — which officials later said was consistent with evidence that the driver of the car found in the river would have struck his head against the windshield.

Christian told a deputy he’d been out for a walk and had fallen off a railroad trestle, though the deputy noted most of his pants were wet — “as if he had been walking in a river,” according to the criminal complaint.

The responding deputy also noted Christian’s words were slurred and that he had a hard time balancing. Christian later told deputies he’d been at a bar that evening, and that he had been walking along railroad tracks between Sheboygan and Haven.

At the scene of the crash, a deputy reported finding a 22-year-old man slumped over by the car, which was found in about 2 to 4 feet of water. The official noted swelling and “deformities” in the man’s right arm and on his legs. The report also notes his injuries, most seriously to his right side but none with significant bleeding, would have been consistent with him sitting in the passenger seat.

A deputy’s investigation indicated the car had appeared to leave the road “quite a distance” from where it was found in the river, and a criminal complaint notes the vehicle had apparently gone airborne before landing in the water: Nearby trees were sheared off, apparently by the car, about 12 to 15 feet above the ground.

The car had significant damage to its passenger side. The driver’s side was more intact, though a deputy’s report noted “a large amount of blood on the driver’s side,” including on the windshield, raising suspicions the driver had struck his head on the windshield.

At the hospital, Christian initially declined to offer a blood sample because, according to the criminal complaint, he said he hadn’t been driving, though he subsequently said “sure” to a deputy’s questioning and a medical technician drew his blood for testing. Results of the blood test were still pending by the time prosecutors filed charges.

The complaint notes Christian had previously been convicted twice, most recently in 2017, for operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

https://www.sheboyganpress.com/story/news/2018/04/11/sheboygan-man-charged-after-car-ends-up-pigeon-river/508431002/

Allegedly High Driver Rear-Ends Cop Car, Sparking Fire

Allegedly High Driver Rear-Ends Cop Car, Sparking Fire: Police

A woman allegedly driving while high rear-ended a cop car inside a parking lot on Long Island, sparking a fire that quickly engulfed her vehicle before police officers were able to pull her out, authorities say.

Nassau County police say an officer was conducting a traffic stop at a parking lot on Burnside Avenue in Inwood Tuesday when the driver of a 2014 Audi came into the lot and crashed into the back of the police car.

The Audi burst into flames, and police pulled the driver, 34-year-old Marsha T. Ellis, from the car, Nassau police said. Inwood firefighters responded and knocked out the fire.

The police officer was taken to a local hospital with neck, back and shoulder pain.

Ellis, who was also taken to a local hospital with another officer for smoke inhalation, was arrested after investigation, police said. She’s accused of driving while ability impaired, and is also suspected of stealing an iPhone from a local store earlier in the day.

She’s charged with fourth-degree grand larceny, driving while ability impaired by drugs, third-degree assault, fifth-degree criminal possession of marijuana, and nine vehicle and traffic law charges.

Ellis is expected to be arraigned in First District Court in Hempstead on Wednesday. It’s not clear if she has an attorney who could comment on the charges.

https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Audi-Driver-High-on-Drugs-Crashes-Into-Cop-Car-Sparks-Fire-Long-Island-479413713.html