Fake cop charged with beating, shooting wife
Detroit — A Hazel Park man was arraigned Friday on multiple charges after he allegedly beat and shot his wife, put her into his pickup, drove to an east-side vacant field, and flashed a fake police badge at an undercover officer who stumbled across the harrowing scene.
Radu Vasile Muntean, 34, is charged with assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to do great bodily harm, unlawful imprisonment, felonious assault and felony firearm, according to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. He was formally charged in 34th District Court in Romulus, police said.
Bond was set at $100,000. He is scheduled to return to court April 4 for a probable cause conference and April 11 for a preliminary exam.
The 36th District Court, where Muntean normally would have been arraigned, was closed Friday.
Muntean is accused of being caught by an undercover Grosse Pointe Park officer around 1 p.m. Wednesday in a field near Lyford and Gilbo — the same overgrown lot where the bodies of two slain Westland teens were discovered four years ago. Muntean’s badly beaten, 32-year-old wife was inside the truck with gunshot wounds in her legs, police said.
The undercover officer, who is assigned to the ACTION multi-jurisdiction stolen car task force, was on patrol when he saw Muntean’s 2007 Chevrolet Silverado in the field, Assistant Detroit Police Chief Steve Dolunt said Wednesday.
When the officer parked and walked toward the truck to investigate, the driver’s door swung open.
“The guy jumps out of the truck, pulls out a badge, and says ‘I’m part of the fugitive recovery team; I just need some gas,’ ” Dolunt said. “The officer thought it was suspicious — why would you run out of gas in the middle of a field?”
The officer approached the pickup and allegedly saw Muntean’s wife slumped in the passenger seat, her hands and ankles secured with duct tape. She’d been shot once in each leg and had been severely beaten, Dolunt said.
A pistol and drugs also were found in the truck, Dolunt said. He added the suspect had tossed his wife’s purse and cellphone into the grass before the officer arrived on the scene.
“I’m guessing he was getting ready to finish his act and dispose of the body,” Dolunt said. “But through the grace of God, this officer happened to see something suspicious. He had the cop mentality to say ‘hmm, that’s odd ... this ain’t right.’ So he checked inside the car.
“This is just great police work. He saved the woman’s life.”
In July 2012, a man looking for scrap discovered the bodies of Jacob Kudla, 18, and Jourdan Bobbish, 17, in the same field. The teens had been stripped to their underwear and shot execution style five days after they were reported missing.
Staff Writer Candice Williams contributed.