Search continues for shooting suspect; City reminds residents to lock doors and report suspicious activity

Update – March 3, 12:50 a.m.:The suspect in the shooting on the campus of Central Michigan University has been taken into police custody without incident.

Thank you to the community for their help and cooperation throughout this situation.

At approximately 8:30 a.m. on Friday, March 2, there was a shooting on the campus of Central Michigan University. The suspect, 19-year-old James Eric Davis Jr., fled northbound and was last seen in the area near Maple and Cherry streets. He is considered armed and dangerous. Residents are encouraged to stay inside their residences and lock the doors of their homes, outbuildings, garages and vehicles.

More than 100 officers from multiple police agencies continue to search for the suspect and will be conducting door-to-door checks in the vicinity of Maple and Cherry streets until dark. Law enforcement helicopters will continue to assist in the search through the evening.

Community members are reminded to remain vigilant of their surroundings. Please do not actively search for the suspect or engage anyone matching the description of the suspect. Instead, please call 911 or 773-1000 to report suspicious activity or someone matching the description of the suspect.

For continuous updates, please sign up for CodeRed alerts. Sign up information can be found at You may also download the CodeRed app on your mobile device.

Two arrested after police chase

At approximately 12:59 a.m. on Feb. 28, 2018, an officer on general patrol at the intersection of Broomfield and Mission Street observed a vehicle commit a traffic violation.

The suspect vehicle accelerated quickly eastbound on Broomfield. The officer attempted to catch up with the vehicle and activated the emergency lights. The vehicle approached the intersection of Broomfield and Isabella and disregarded the flashing red light. The vehicle again accelerated quickly reaching speeds of over 100 mph while traveling down Isabella road. The vehicle abruptly stopped at the intersection of Isabella and High. The driver, Gonzalo Alaniz, a 23-year-old Mt. Pleasant man, was taken into custody without incident.

The front seat passenger, a 19-year-old Mt. Pleasant man, was arrested for open container and cited for minor in possession of alcohol.

Alaniz is lodged at the Isabella County Jail on charges of fleeing and eluding; driving while license suspended; reckless driving.

MT. PLEASANT POLICE PRESS RELEASE: Domestic assault turns into stand off

On Feb. 2, 2018, at approximately 7:17 p.m., City officers responded to a domestic assault complaint in the 1820 block of South Crawford Road, also known as Country Place Apartments. Woodrow Lewis, a 38-year-old Mt. Pleasant man and his wife were arguing because Lewis believed his wife was bugging the apartment. Lewis became upset and pushed his wife up against the wall. Lewis then knocked her over a couch causing her to fall. The female left the apartment, called the police and filed a domestic assault report.

Police took a statement from Lewis’ wife and then attempted contact with Lewis. Lewis initially would not answer the door, but then came to the door with a knife 8 to 10 inches in length. The officers backed off the residence and contacted the Isabella County Emergency Services Team, a team of police officers from several jurisdictions who serve as tactical officers and crisis negotiators.

An officer obtained a domestic assault warrant for Lewis while officers continued to ask Lewis to exit the residence. Lewis attempted to start his apartment on fire by burning the drapes. Officers then evacuated residents from the apartment building complex.

The decision was made to introduce pepper spray to Lewis’ apartment to get him out of his apartment. Lewis surrendered without further incident.

Lewis was lodged at the Isabella County Jail on charges of domestic assault. Lewis remains in custody at the Isabella County Jail on the domestic assault charge and $10,000/ten percent bond.

Mt. Pleasant Police Department was assisted by the Mt. Pleasant Fire Department, Michigan State Police, Central Michigan University Police, Isabella County Sheriff’s Department, and Mobile Medical Response.

Mt. Pleasant Police News Release: Shots fired at local bar

On Jan. 27, 2018, at approximately 2:16 a.m., City officers responded to shots fired at 2000 S. Mission Street, the location of the Wayside Bar. Staff at the Wayside said they observed a red vehicle in the parking lot driving at a high rate of speed, almost striking other vehicles and pedestrians. They stated they saw the driver stick a handgun out of the window and fire several shots into the air. The vehicle then exited the Wayside lot and pulled into McDonald’s on South Mission.

An officer responding to the call observed a red car pulling out of the McDonald’s lot. The officer initiated a felony-type traffic stop on the vehicle. The driver was identified as Corey Horne, a 20-year-old Lansing man. Horne’s eyes were red, glossy and bloodshot, and his breath emitted an odor of intoxicants. He admitted to consuming alcohol and was unable to perform simple tasks. Horne submitted to a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) with the result of .07 percent blood alcohol content (BAC). Horne also had a restricted license.

A search of the vehicle found a .40 caliber handgun located in the glovebox. When the firearm was located, the magazine was out of the weapon, but there was a round in the chamber of the weapon. Officers also located five additional .40 caliber rounds in the passenger side door. The firearm was registered to Dequarius Payne, a 21-year-old Lansing man, who was sitting in the front passenger seat of the vehicle. Payne did not have a Concealed Pistol License (CPL) permit.

Officers reviewed video taken of the incident, which showed Horne driving the red vehicle and firing shots out of the vehicle. Officers were able to recover several spent casing from a .40 caliber weapon.

Horne was arrested and charged with Weapons-Firearms-discharge from vehicle (10-year felony); Weapon-carrying concealed (five-year felony); Motor Vehicle-operating without security (one-year misdemeanor); Operating While Intoxicated (93-day misdemeanor); Weapons-Pistol-carrying concealed while under the influence (93-day misdemeanor); Driving-reckless (90-day misdemeanor); Weapons-Firearms-reckless use (90-day Misdemeanor); and Weapons-Firearms-brandishing in public (90-day misdemeanor).

Payne was arrested and charged with Weapons-carrying concealed (five-year felony).

The Mt. Pleasant Police Department was assisted by Central Michigan University Police.

Mt. Pleasant man arrested for home invasion

On Dec. 4 at approximately 6:53 a.m., Mt. Pleasant Police officers responded to an illegal entry complaint in the 1100 block of West Camps Drive. The suspect entered an unlocked apartment. The suspect went through the apartment to the bedroom and shined a flashlight on the female resident. The victim awoke and confronted the suspect. The suspect then fled the scene.

Officers arrived in the area and observed a male running down the railroad tracks matching the description of the suspect that was provided. Officers attempted to stop and identify the suspect, but he continued to run for several more blocks and was taken into custody after struggling with officers.

During the investigation, officers also learned of another incident that took place earlier in the morning in the same area. In this incident, the suspect let himself into the residence, pulled the covers off the female victim and shined his flashlight on the female’s body. The victim sat up in bed when the suspect fled the scene.

The suspect was identified as Charles Henry, a 33-year-old Mt. Pleasant man.

Henry was lodged at the Isabella County Jail on charges of Home Invasion-First Degree; Sex Offenders-Failure to Comply with Registration Act; Police Officer-Assault/Resisting/Obstructing; Police Officer-Assault/Resisting/Obstructing; Lying to a Police Officer; Breaking and Entering-Illegal Entry; and  Breaking and Entering-Illegal Entry. Henry is currently held at the Isabella County Jail with a bond of $70,000/ten percent.

The Mt. Pleasant Police Department was assisted in apprehending Henry by Central Michigan University Police Department and the Isabella County Sheriff’s Department.

City police officers receive MADD awards

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Pictured from the left, Mt. Pleasant police officers Mike Covarrubias, Kipp Moe, Kurt Solmonson and Jeff Thompson. 

Four City police officers have been recognized by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) of Michigan for their work to put an end to impaired driving in the Mt. Pleasant community.

Officer Jeff Thompson received MADD’s Outstanding Officer Award, a statewide recognition honoring members of law enforcement who made a difference in 2016 in reducing drunk driving deaths and injuries through education, prevention, policy or enforcement. Officer Thompson led the department last year with 54 operating while impaired (OWI) arrests. The award was presented to Thompson last month during the Lifesavers Recognition Luncheon presented by MADD Michigan.

Officers Mike Covarrubias, Kipp Moe and Kurt Solmonson have been named MADD Salute Award winners as they each made more than 25 OWI arrests last year.

Together, the four officers made 154 OWI arrests in 2016.

Police Capt. Andy Latham graduates from FBI National Academy

Andy Latham National Academy
Police Capt. Andy Latham (center) with FBI National Academy classmate Dulgunn Ganbat (left) of Mongolia and an embassy representative (right) during “International Night,” where international students provided food from their country for all to enjoy. 

Police Capt. Andy Latham graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Academy this month, making him the fifth officer from the Mt. Pleasant Police Department (MPPD) to complete the prestigious program. Held at the FBI campus in Quantico, VA, the ten-week academy is designed specifically for leaders in law enforcement and serves to improve the administration of justice in police departments and agencies at home and abroad.

Latham first learned of the National Academy several years ago when the lieutenant for MPPD at the time graduated from the program. “It was after listening to him tell of his experience that I made it my goal to attend the academy,” said Latham. “So, when the opportunity presented itself for me to apply, I did.”

Attendance is by invitation only, and Latham was one of approximately 220 leaders in law enforcement from all over the world selected to take part. “The most rewarding part of the program was meeting all of the folks from around our country and the world,” said Latham. “I realized that no matter the size of the agency or resources available, we all try to police our communities the best we can. No matter where you’re from, there is a great deal of support and camaraderie among law enforcement worldwide.”

During the program, Latham completed specialized trainings and fitness challenges, as well as rigorous coursework through the University of Virginia focused on leadership, behavioral science, communication in law and more.

“I’m very thankful to all who had a hand in allowing me to attend the academy, and to those who took on my duties while I was away,” he said. “Without a doubt, this includes my wife.”

Previous graduates of the program include current Mt. Pleasant Director of Public Safety Paul Lauria and Sergeant Dan Gaffka. The City’s former Director of Public Safety Bill Yeagley and former Lieutenant Jeff Shell also attended the academy.

Mt. Pleasant Police Department statistics from start of the fall semester at Central Michigan University

This weekend, thousands of student residents arrived to the area for the start of the fall semester at Central Michigan University. The Mt. Pleasant Police Department responded to several calls for service and generated a number of citations from 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 24 to 7 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 27. Please see the weekend’s statistics below:

Arrested or Received Citation:

  • 8 Disorderly Conduct
  • 1 Disturbing the Peace
  • 1 Driving While License Suspended
  • 40 Minor in Possession of Alcohol
  • 3 Nuisance Party-Attending
  • 9 Nuisance Party-Hosting
  • 64 Open Intoxicants
  • 6 OWI
  • 3 Possession of Drugs
  • 11 Traffic Citations
  • 3 Warrant Arrest

Calls for Service:

  • There were 97 calls for service from 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 24 to 7 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 25.
  • There were 199 calls for service from 7 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 25 to 7 a.m. on Saturday,
    Aug. 26.
  • There were 145 calls for service from 7 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 26. To 7 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 27.

In 2014, the City of Mt. Pleasant developed a multi-year plan to address the history of violations and increasing tension among residents in the neighborhood north of Central Michigan University’s campus where owner-occupied properties and student rentals are intermingled. To decrease disruptive behavior and improve relationships between the full- and part-year residents, City officials have worked to improve partnerships with local landlords, CMU and its students, as well as enforce ordinances on a more consistent basis.

“We are proud to be home to Central Michigan University. The students are a great asset to our community and the energy and diversity they bring strengthens the City as a whole,” said Mt. Pleasant City Manager Nancy Ridley. “The students are also City residents, and all residents are expected to uphold our community standards, which include respecting your neighbors and taking care of each other to ensure Mt. Pleasant continues to be a safe and desirable place to live and visit.”

The Mt. Pleasant Police Department and Fire Department were assisted by the Central Michigan University Police Department, Central Michigan University Dispatch, Michigan State Police – Mt. Pleasant, and Lakeview Post, Isabella County Central Dispatch, Department of Corrections, Mobile Medical Response, Alma Police Department, Gratiot County Sheriff’s Department, Clare Police Department, Midland Police Department, and Midland County Sheriff’s Department.

Sytsema named Mt. Pleasant police lieutenant

dsytsemThe City recently announced the promotion of Detective Don Sytsema to police lieutenant. Sytsema has dedicated 22 years to the Mt. Pleasant Police Department, serving first as an officer and later as detective.

As lieutenant, Sytsema will oversee day-to-day operations of the road patrol and detective bureau, and will be responsible for duties related to crime analysis and prevention. He will also coordinate special operations with other area law enforcement agencies, among many other tasks.

“We are very confident and pleased with Don’s decision to be a part of the police administration team,” said Police Captain Andy Latham. “Don is a creative and analytical thinker who uses his head and his heart to make decisions. This lends to an inclusive leadership style that is well received and embraced by those around him.”

Sytsema is looking forward to the new challenge. “My vision is that our department will continue to use and explore new technology to support the solving of crime,” he said. Sytsema also envisions continued police engagement with our community and businesses, as he is committed to cultivating positive relationships.

Sytsema will fill the role of lieutenant beginning April 16.