2 Detroit cops arraigned in assault at restaurant

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News
Detroit Police Officer Frederick Eugene Person, left, and Lt. Timothy Larrance Leach face a preliminary hearing Tuesday in 36th District Court..

A former Detroit Police Department commander and a Detroit police officer were formally charged in court Thursday for allegedly manhandling a patron of a Corktown restaurant where the pair moonlight as security guards.

Lt. Timothy Larrance Leach, 48, and Officer Frederick Eugene Person, 53, appeared in Detroit's 36th District Court for their arraignment.

Leach, who was demoted to lieutenant after the incident, has been charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm, a 10-year felony, aggravated assault, neglect of duty, both one-year misdemeanors, not having a security guard license and tampering with evidence, both four-year felonies.

Person has been charged with obstruction of justice, a five-year felony, neglect of duty and tampering with evidence. 

Leach and Person were arraigned via video conference.

Magistrate Jeffrey Kleparek set bond for Leach at $50,000 and set Person’s bond at $25,000. 

He also ordered Leach to not possess any firearms or have any contact with the victim while free on bond.

The magistrate said a probable cause conference will be held on May 31 and a preliminary exam will be held on June 5.

”It is disappointing that we have to level charges against one of the Detroit Police Department’s top brass and yet another officer," Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement Thursday. "These alleged actions do not represent the hard-working men and women who work each day to protect Detroit.”

The two police officers are accused of assault of Michael Ryan Karpovich, 42, of Washington Township during St. Patrick's Day Parade festivities at a restaurant on Michigan Avenue.

MorePolice officers charged in restaurant assault

According to the Prosecutor's Office, other Detroit officers and emergency medical technicians were dispatched to a restaurant in the 1400 block of Michigan near Trumbull, where they called to give aid to an unconscious patron on floor of the restaurant around 3:38 p.m. March 11.

Leach, who was moonlighting as a security guard at the restaurant, allegedly pushed Karpovich, who fell to the floor while Leach was ejecting him from the restaurant. Leach did not have prior approval from the Detroit Police Department to work as a security officer at the restaurant.

Karpovich sustained significant head injuries and lost consciousness, the Prosecutor's Office said. Medics transported the victim to a hospital for treatment. 

Authorities accuse Leach of failing to file a report regarding the alleged use of force.

They also accuse Person of providing police with false information when questioned.

In addition, he allegedly failed to report the use of force in the incident, failed to obtain approval to work a secondary employment and tampered with evidence, according to officials.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig said an administrative investigation into the allegations is ongoing. 

After the arraignment, Lt. Mark Young, president of the Detroit Police Lieutenants and Sergeants Association, said the two officers are outstanding police officers.

“They have honorable, distinguished careers,” Young said. “We look forward to their  day in court. I think when all the facts are heard there’s going to be a different outcome.”cramirez@detroitnews.com