Police continue I-94 chase, stolen cop car investigation; 1 sought
Sterling Heights — Authorities said Friday they are seeking a fourth man and are investigating the cause of an incident that involved a police chase and a stolen cruiser that shut down Interstate 94 earlier this week.
Police arrested two suspects in the immediate aftermath of Tuesday's incident and announced at a news conference Friday that they had taken into custody a third suspect.
The incident, which involved multiple chases and several police departments and jurisdictions, including the Macomb County Sheriff's Office and the Warren Police Department, allegedly began with a dispute at a condo in Utica. Police then were called on reports of shots fired between a Ford Fusion and a Dodge Durango.
"We were able to -- with almost no injuries -- end all of this, get everybody into custody and charge appropriately," Sterling Heights Police Chief Dale Dwojakowski said at Friday's press conference. He expressed gratitude that it happened during spring break week "because this pursuit through Sterling Heights ... went through several school zones."
The alleged driver of the Durango, Brandon Dalen Hubert, 27, of Detroit, was arrested Thursday evening. He faces charges of felonious assault, discharging a firearm from a moving vehicle, felon in possession of a firearm and fleeing and eluding police. He is expected to be arraigned Friday.
Already in custody is Marcino Lattner, 25, of Westland, who has been charged with unlawfully driving away, fleeing and eluding, assaulting a police officer and malicious destruction of police property. Investigators say he ran from the Fusion during the initial police pursuit and is accused of stealing a running police vehicle.
Anthony Brown, 31, of St. Clair Shores has been charged with third-degree fleeing and eluding a police officer. He was allegedly the driver of the Fusion, police said.
Police say the situation began Tuesday morning around 7:15 a.m. when the occupants of a Ford Fusion -- including a fourth person being sought for questioning -- were being chased by the driver of a Dodge Durango when gunshots were exchanged near M-53 and Hall Road.
The incident then broke off into two chases. The Durango pulled over to a side street, which allowed officers to pursue the Fusion. While cops attempted to stop the Fusion, Lattner allegedly got out and ran. Police with guns drawn got out and chased him, but he doubled back, got into their cruiser, which had been left running, and took off, authorities allege.
Lattner was apprehended when a Macomb County patrol car crashed into the Sterling Heights stolen cruiser on I-94 near 12 Mile, snarling westbound traffic for nine hours.
Warren police followed the Fusion south on Van Dyke into Detroit. Police say the occupants fled from the car. Brown was arrested, and another man escaped.
"High-speed pursuit and chases are supervisors' nightmares, decisions whether to keep your officers involved in the pursuit or terminate a pursuit," said Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham. "But in this one, the right call was made."
Police said they are seeking the fourth man, hoping he can shed light on what happened to spark the incident.
No weapons were found at the scenes of either chase. Dwojakowski said Lattner's claim in court this week that police shot at him while his hands were up is false.