Suspect charged in Oakland Co. deputy’s death

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Pontiac – A Macomb Township man was arraigned Saturday in connection with the death of of Oakland County Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Overall on Thanksgiving morning.

Christopher Joseph Berak is arraigned by Magistrate Marie Soma on Saturday.

Christopher Berak, 22 , was charged with first degree premeditated homicide and murder of a police officer, both carry life in prison sentences, if he’s convicted.

“He resided with his parents in Macomb Township and is employed at a local pizzeria. I don’t think he’s a risk of flight, but I understand the seriousness of these charges,” said Berak’s attorney said during a video arraignment from 52nd Third District Court. The news media was allowed to view the arraignment from the Oakland County Jail visitation center in Pontiac.

He is scheduled for a probable cause hearing in Clarkston District Court on Dec. 4.

Oakland County Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Overall

Magistrate Marie Soma denied bond for Berak, who is on probation for operating under the influence of marijuana and has a history of mental heath conditions.

Lapeer County Sheriff Scott McKenna said Friday Berak arrived at Lapeer County Jail about 11:40 p.m. Wednesday identifying himself as “God” and saying he was “there to break out one of his sons (followers) being held there in violation of man-made laws.”

He stepped out of his vehicle outside the jail and briefly talked with jail deputies over an intercom before he fled the parking lot in his car. He drove to the nearby Thumb Correctional Facility, where he repeated his threat to a state officer before driving away, according to authorities, McKenna said.

The sheriff said Berak lead deputies on a 22-mile pursuit before he fatally ran into Officer Overall when he was deploying stop sticks.

“Given the charge that you are currently facing,... I am going to deny bond on this case. You do have a bit of a criminal history... does appear that you have some mental health conditions you are currently addressing,” said Soma.