Police: Friend comes to pick up dogs, gets DUI arrest

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

A man performing an act of kindness by picking up two chihuahuas following a friend's arrest ended with the good Samaritan being arrested himself on suspicion of drunken driving.  

The trouble started at 7:15 p.m. Friday at the Target store on Coolidge highway, when a 39-year-old Bloomfield Hills woman was stopped by loss prevention while allegedly trying to steal some $120 in merchandise.

Troy police were called to the scene and say they recovered about $460 in merchandise that had been stolen earlier from Kohl's. All of the merchandise was returned to the store. The woman has been charged with third-degree retail fraud. 


But the alleged shoplifter had dogs in her car. Police took the dogs in the patrol vehicle and agreed to wait until the woman's friend could arrive to pick them up. When the 46-year-old Chesterfield Township man arrived, just after 8 p.m., officers noted "an odor of alcohol" from his breath when he spoke, a statement on the arrest said. 

The man said he hadn't been drinking but agreed to comply with field sobriety tests, the statement said. Officers asked him to take a breath test, but he declined and was arrested. At the Troy lock-up, the man agreed to take a breath test and preliminary results indicate a blood alcohol content of .04. He was charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. 

That's below the legal limit of .08 blood alcohol content, but Sgt. Meghan Lehman of the Troy Police Department said the man performed "quite poorly" in his field evaluation, with behaviors "highly indicative of being intoxicated." 

For instance, the man was asked to pick a number between 15 and 17, and picked 15. 

The decision to arrest was made "because the man was demonstrating that he was too drunk to drive safely," Lehman said in a follow-up email. After the man was deemed to be sober, he was released pending further investigation. Police did not issue a citation, and the city attorney will handle the case. 

The dogs were held at the station until the man was released, and took them home.