Two arrested after 50-mile, 4-county police chase

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Michigan State Police arrested two men suspected in the carjacking of a Lyft driver in Detroit on Saturday and a strong-arm robbery at Soaring Eagle Casino three days later after a roughly 50-mile chase through four counties Tuesday afternoon.

Trouble began for the suspects about 3 p.m. Tuesday when they allegedly displayed a weapon and forced a woman at the Mount Pleasant casino to hand over her purse, said state police Lt. Dave Kaiser.

Tribal police and the Isabella County Sheriff’s Office pursued the men into Midland County, and that pursuit continued into Bay County.

When the chase reached Saginaw County, Michigan State Police took over, trying on “numerous” occasions to drop stop sticks in the path of the silver four-door Kia, Kaiser said. The car, which law enforcement networks reported as stolen out of Detroit, continued on its getaway.

In the end, troopers used a precision immobilization technique to spin out the Kia. The car was disabled in the front yard of a Comfort Inn, Kaiser said.

The occupants fled the vehicle, but troopers gave chase, including a K-9 officer, which caught one suspect while troopers caught the other. The man caught by the K-9 was briefly treated at a hospital, and both men were taken to the Saginaw County Jail, pending multiple felony charges, Kaiser said.

The Kia was allegedly stolen about 8:30 p.m. Saturday when a Lyft driver looking for a fare picked up a man on the 19300 block of Schoolcraft in Detroit, according to police. Once inside the Kia, police say the man allegedly pulled a handgun and robbed and assaulted the driver, forcing him to flee the vehicle.

The man was joined by a second young man, and both drove away in the Kia, said Detroit Officer Nicole Kirkwood.

While the men arrested Tuesday were allegedly found in possession of the stolen Kia, Detroit police have yet to confirm those two men are the same two suspected in the carjacking, Kirkwood said.

The car has been impounded in Saginaw County, and will be turned over to Detroit police as the case is adjudicated. It eventually will be returned to its owner.

Last weekend was a rough one for drivers seeking fares near Schoolcraft.

Just hours after the alleged carjacking of the Lyft driver, and just three miles up the road, an Uber driver picking up a fare in the area of Schoolcraft and Schaefer was allegedly held at gunpoint, forced to punch out cash from an ATM, and hand over both the cash and his black Lincoln Navigator to a man he picked up, according to police.

Police describe the suspect in that case as a black male in his late 20s, 5 feet 5 inches tall and 110 pounds.

The same investigators are working both cases, Officer Jennifer Moreno said.

jdickson@detroitnews.com