Woman arraigned in death of carjacked man in Waterford

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Waterford Township — A 38-year-old Walled Lake woman was formally charged Tuesday with the death of an elderly township man she allegedly ran over with his own truck.

Ruth Pozdol was charged with murder and carjacking in a video arraignment from the Oakland County Jail in the Sunday death of Clifford Haywald, 76. Pozdol allegedly ran Haywald over in a Burger King parking lot on Highland Road after stealing his pickup about 11 a.m.

Haywald later died from his injuries and Pozdol was arrested by Walled Lake police about 12 hours later in that city.

Pozdol muttered she wanted "some privacy" during her video arraignment before Waterford 51st District Judge Richard Kuhn Jr., who set a Jan. 27 preliminary exam hearing. Outside the court, Haywald's granddaughter, Amber Davis, vowed she and others planned to monitor the case to its end.

"We're very happy she has been caught, is in jail and bond has been denied," said Davis, breaking down in tears. "And could spend the rest of her life in prison.

"My grandfather was the most loving man you would ever want to meet and he will be greatly missed. He would help out anyone. ... He just wanted to help someone (here) and he paid with his life."

According to the preliminary investigation, Haywald was apparently a victim chosen at random and they didn't know each other. As was his habit, the retired autoworker had gone to the fast food eatery for a meal where he was approached by Pozdol, who had left a drug treatment center and asked Haywald to use his cellphone.

Later, according to Davis, witnesses have said the woman followed Haywald outside and overpowered him for the keys to his 2001 Chevrolet pickup truck. When he tried to stop her from driving off with the vehicle, she ran him over, witnesses said.

The truck was later found in Detroit where an attempt had been made to burn it, police said. Walled Lake police received a tip Pozdol could be found in that city later that evening and she was arrested without incident with her husband, who is not charged with any crimes.

Davis said Haywald's family and friends are stunned by the unthinkable incident, some, like her, so disturbed she's "unable to eat anything."

Asked what she would say if she could talk to Pozdol, Davis said: "I want her to know we will be here to the end and will see she stays in jail for the rest of her life. I want her to know she has destroyed my family. And destroyed hers as well."


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Funeral arrangements

Public visitation for Clifford Haywald will be 3-8 p.m. Friday at Donelson Johns and Evans Funeral Home, 5391 Highland Road, Waterford.

The funeral will be 11 a.m. Saturday, according to his family.