Video: Man crashes into Ortonville gas station, flees with license plate

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

A 24-year-old man has been charged for crashing into an Ortonville gas station then fleeing the scene, Oakland County Sheriff's officials said.

Workers told investigators William David Edmonds had bought beer in a BP on the 1700 block of Ortonville at about 2:30 a.m., opened one then returned to his truck parked near the pumps. 

While leaving, Edmonds allegedly "accelerated at a high rate of speed in the parking lot turning 180 degrees, striking the gas pump island and then drove inside of the building, stopping in middle of it," officials said in a statement.

Edmonds was arraigned Friday.

Surveillance footage showed the man struggling to pull off his license plate, falling to the debris-covered floor, then walking away.

Workers who witnessed the crash recognized him as a regular customer and obtained the plate number before Edmonds left, according to the release.

Meanwhile, bottles of broken alcohol that seeped into a floor electrical outlet sparked a blaze, prompting response from the township fire department.

After a sheriff's K9 unit failed to find a trace of him beyond an intersection down the street, deputies tracked Edmonds to his home in Groveland Township and arrested him 13 hours later.

In an interview, Edmonds told investigators "he wanted to speed around the gas pumps because his new tires spin easily" then hit a curb and lost control, officials said Friday. "He said he had no intention on running into the gas station or hurting anyone."

The Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office charged him with reckless driving and failing to report an accident.

Edmonds was arraigned Friday at 52-2 District Court in front of Magistrate Daniel Schouman.

Bond was set at $5,000. Edmonds was ordered not to return to the gas station and submit to alcohol and drug testing twice weekly, authorities said.