New Orleans man, 35, accused of driving rental car into Pontiac retention pond

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

A 35-year-old New Orleans man was arrested after allegedly driving a car into a retention pond in Pontiac early Tuesday, officials said.

Oakland County deputies were called at about 1:40 a.m. Tuesday to Opdyke and CenterPoint Parkway for a report of a vehicle in a retention pond. The caller told police two people had climbed out of the vehicle and made it to land.

Deputies were unable to see a vehicle in the pond. However, a deputy saw a man and woman with what appeared to be wet clothing walking away toward a nearby motel.

The deputy directed the two to stop. The man turned around and approached the deputy, but the woman walked away into a wooded area. Deputies searched the area for the woman, but were unable to find her.

They questioned the man, who they said smelled of alcohol, but he denied any knowledge of a vehicle in the pond or a woman walking with him, according to officials. He told deputies he went into the pond to help someone else.

Authorities searched the man and found a Nissan key fob with a tag labeled "Enterprise Car Rental" in his pocket.

He told deputies he was the sole occupant in the vehicle. They asked him about the woman and he became uncooperative, they said, answering each question with "no comment."

Deputies arrested the man and summoned paramedics to examine him.

Investigators  found tire tracks and a trail of vehicle debris from the road through the grass and to the pond’s edge. They requested divers from the Marine Division of the sheriff's office, who went into the pond and found and removed an unoccupied, submerged Nissan. 

Detectives visited the nearby motel and staff told them the man was staying there and had checked in earlier in the day. They also tried to contact a woman at the room the man had rented, but were unsuccessful. 

Deputies took the man to a hospital where staff drew his blood for testing and he was lodged at the county jail.

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez