Authorities: Man brandishes sledgehammer, kicks cops

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

A 29-year-old Commerce Township man is alive and in police custody after demanding that Oakland County sheriff’s deputies kill him, brandishing a sledge hammer, running from and then spitting on police early Tuesday morning.

Deputies from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the 1900 block of Meadow Ridge Drive just after midnight for an “unknown disturbance,” according to a release from the office. Their colleagues who work in dispatch advised them that they’d taken a 911 call and heard a man and woman yelling at each other, and they heard the man saying he wouldn’t be going to jail.

Upon arrival, police found the man standing in front of a garage; when he noticed sheriff’s deputies, he tried to hide by a fence, according to the sheriff's office.

Deputies ordered the man to stand up, and he did — with a sledgehammer in his hands, demanding that officers kill him, according to the sheriff's office.

Police say they talked him into dropping the sledgehammer, but then the man fled on foot. Police say they tried to Taser the man, but it didn’t take. The man kept running and was eventually found in a neighbor’s yard.

But it didn’t end with a peaceful arrest, police say. Instead, the suspect allegedly kicked two sheriff’s deputies and tried to spit on them while he was being handcuffed. Then, when sitting in the back of a patrol car, he started kicking the back door on the driver’s side, hitting it so hard the frame actually bent outward, according to the sheriff's office.

Police say the man admitted, during the ride to Oakland County Jail, that he’d been trying to commit suicide-by-cop — ending one’s life by forcing the police to use lethal force. As the investigation continued, police learned that the man had allegedly threatened both his girlfriend and his mother with a knife before police arrived.

At Oakland County Jail, the suspect was put on a behavioral watch. A cell extraction team from the jail was necessary to even bring him inside.

Authorities continue investigating the incident and police are preparing an estimate for repairs to the patrol car.

jdickson@detroitnews.com