Police: Man flees, brags on Facebook, turns himself in

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

A Rochester Hills man might want to shrink his social network after a Facebook post bragged about eluding police.

After boasting on social media about his success in a high-speed chase with Lake Orion police on July 2, police were on his trail, leading the man to turn himself in Tuesday.

Michael Thomas Brown, 33, allegedly was caught on camera about 2:15 a.m. July 2 leaving Sagebrush Cantina restaurant in Lake Orion and getting on a motorcycle. A Lake Orion police officer at a traffic light a block away at the intersection of East Flint and South Broadway allegedly saw Brown “performing a loud and aggressive brake torque on the street in a reckless manner,” according to a statement from Police Chief Jerry Narsh.

Officer Brian Martinez pulled the motorcycle over then exited his patrol car to talk to the man, but “almost without hesitation” Brown allegedly fled south on South Broadway, heading to M-24, running a stop sign en route.

Within a half-mile of the motorcycle entering M-24, he eluded the officer, who called off the pursuit, according to Narsh’s statement.

Two days later, on July 4, Lake Orion police obtained a screenshot of a Facebook post “from a person who claimed he was driving a motorcycle that fled Lake Orion Police,” and provided information “that only the officer and the rider would know.” That post included the hashtags #ftp, #nojailthisweekend, and #everyonelovedit. In the post, Thomas allegedly wrote that he was traveling 140 mph in a 35-mph zone.

“The single most dangerous thing most people will do every day is get behind the wheel of a car,” Narsh said in his statement. “When someone flees from the police or drives in a willful and reckless manner, they put us all at risk.”

Investigators began compiling evidence against the man, but on Tuesday, Brown turned himself in. He was arraigned at the 52-3 District Court before Magistrate Marie Soma, on fleeing a police officer, third degree, a five-year felony; and reckless driving, a misdemeanor.

Brown was released on a $5,000 personal bond, which wouldn’t need to be paid unless he failed to appear at a court date. Brown’s probable cause hearing is scheduled for Aug. 2 before Judge Julie Nicholson.