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

Dentist seeks bond reduction in fatal crash

Jeffrey BilyakLAPORTE — A dentist accused of killing an ambulance patient from Portage in a head-on collision he caused while driving impaired wants his bond lowered.

Jeffrey Bilyak, 46, of Chesterton, appeared on video in LaPorte Circuit Court for his initial hearing Friday.

He was in the LaPorte County Jail when Judge Tom Alevizos scheduled a hearing for May 4 to decide whether to reduce his $20,000 bail.

Alevizos also ordered a background check to look over before ruling on the request.

Bilyak turned himself in Wednesday on arrest warrants for Level 4 felony operating while intoxicated causing death, Level 5 felony reckless homicide and two counts of operating while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury.

Heather Widing, 47, died a day after the Feb. 15 crash on U.S. 421 near LaCrosse.

She was heading to a hospital in Indianapolis in the back of an ambulance hit by an oncoming Bilyak while trying to pass in very dense fog in a no-passing zone, according to court documents.

Driver charged with DWAI after car hits house

The driver of a 1999 Toyota Camry crashed

The driver of a 1999 Toyota Camry crashed his car into a house on Verazzano Avenue in Copiague Thursday evening and was arrested, police said.

 

A Selden man was impaired by drugs when he crashed his car into a house Thursday evening in Copiague, police said.

Taylor Lynne, 36, was arrested and charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs and criminal possession of a controlled substance, Suffolk County police said Friday morning.

Lynne was driving a 1999 Toyota Camry at 5:15 p.m. on Verrazano Avenue, near Dixon Avenue, when he lost control of the car and crashed into a home in the 200 block of Verrazano, police said.

Lynne was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries, police said. It was unclear when he would be arraigned.

https://www.newsday.com/long-island/crime/copiague-car-house-1.17889922

MAN CHARGED WITH DRIVING UNDER INFLUENCE OF MARIJUANA FOR FATAL CRASH

MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. – The man charged with driving under the influence of marijuana in a crash that killed his older brother appeared in court Monday, April 9.

The fatal crash happened on April 11, 2016 in Muskegon County near Casnovia. Michael O’Berry, 25, hit a semi-truck on Apple Avenue while driving on Trent Road. His older brother Nathan O’Berry died in the accident.

A urine sample confirmed a presence of active THC in Michael O’Berry’s system, said Muskegon County Prosecutor Chief Trial Attorney Matt Roberts Monday. The felony charge for driving under the influence of a Schedule I controlled substance carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

Drunk driving accidents took the lives of more than 10,000 people in 2016, a report by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said. But “drugged driving” accidents are an increasing problem. And the National Institute of Drug Abuse said marijuana is the drug most-linked to impaired driving after alcohol.

In fact, driving on drugs was linked to more deaths in 2015 than driving drunk, according to a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association and Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility.

In Michigan, an at-fault driver with any amount of a Schedule I drug, including marijuana, can be criminally charged like O’Berry. However, state courts have said if the driver is a medical marijuana cardholder, the prosecutors have to prove the driver was “impaired by the presence of marijuana in his [or her] body.”

Some states have laws for marijuana-impaired driving set to a specific number of nanograms. Michigan needs to create a sliding scale system for marijuana-impaired driving legislation, or punishments will be unbalanced, said Andrew Rodenhouse, a criminal defense attorney at Rodenhouse Kuipers PC in Grand Rapids.

“If somebody doesn’t feel the effects of THC…they pass the roadside sobriety tests, only to—later on—have blood results come back saying they had a de minimis amount…they will be prosecuted,” Rodenhouse said.

http://www.wzzm13.com/mobile/article/news/local/muskegon/grand-rapids-man-charged-with-driving-under-influence-of-marijuana-for-fatal-crash/69-536711074

  Aldon Smith’s Blood Alcohol Level Was Deadly High At .40

BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVEL WAS DEADLY HIGH

Aldon Smith’s blood alcohol level was so high on Friday, it’s a miracle he’s not dead … because a .40 can KILL most people.
TMZ Sports broke the story … the embattled NFL star was arrested Friday when his court-ordered SCRAM alcohol monitoring device went off.
Now, officials say the device measured his B.A.C. at a whopping .40 … 5 TIMES the legal limit to drive.
In Smith’s case, the judge in his domestic violence case had ordered him to be completely sober while wearing the device … but officials say he went WAY over the edge.
In fact, according to an organization for responsible drinking, most people with a .40 or higher are probably in a coma.
“The nerve centers controlling your heartbeat and respiration are slowing down. It’s a miracle if you’re not dead,” the report says.
On Wednesday in court, it was revealed that prosecutors and defense attorneys are looking into sending Aldon to an inpatient substance abuse facility.
Smith is currently in jail and will likely remain there until his next hearing on Friday.

http://www.tmz.com/2018/04/11/aldon-smith-blood-alcohol-level-arrest/?__twitter_impression=true&__twitter_impression=true

Woman hit man, kept driving with dismembered body in windshield

What started out as a night of bar hopping with friends two years ago has ended with a young woman’s murder conviction.

Driving home from a night of drinking in her hometown of Oceanside, San Diego County, Esteysi “Stacy” Sanchez’s impaired judgement caught up to her in a gruesome scene that eventually led to her second-degree murder conviction last week in San Diego.

The incident took place at dawn in June of 2016 when Sanchez, then 29, plowed into 69-year-old Jack Ray Tenhulzen, a homeless man who was reportedly either walking to or from a local soup kitchen.

Reports state Sanchez’s Pontiac sedan was moving so fast that one of the man’s legs was ripped from his torso, flew through the back window and landed on the car’s trunk. The rest of his body slammed into the front windshield, shattering it and leaving him impaled in a jagged hole of glass.

But that didn’t stop Sanchez, who kept driving with the man’s body in her car and his severed leg on the vehicle’s trunk for another three quarters of a mile until abandoning it in a cul-de-sac near her house and walking home.

https://www.mrt.com/bayarea/article/Calif-woman-hit-man-kept-driving-with-12826087.php