UM's Minick required force to comply with police orders

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
Jim Minick, left, with Jim Harbaugh at a Ravens playoff game in January.

Ann Arbor -- Jim Minick, Michigan associate athletic director for football, had to be forced onto a stretcher by a police officer to have blood drawn and was more intoxicated than he informed the officers when he was arrested in the early hours of May 8 after crashing his GMC Yukon, according to a police report.

Minick, who pleaded guilty last Wednesday to a charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and also for refusing a Breathalyzer test, faces eight months probation. The retired Marine colonel is a longtime friend of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh, hired by Harbaugh to the current football staff.

In court last Wednesday, Minick told the judge he had eight drinks before the one-car accident in Pittsfield Township that caused no injuries. Because he refused the Breathalyzer, Minick was taken to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital and was administered a blood test. His blood-alcohol level was .185.

"(I) really regret everything that has happened," Minick said in court. "I think every American knows what I did was wrong. I think in my experience, I know it's wrong. I feel the most for my family and my employer. I own this and take full responsibility."

Minick, in the police report, obtained Monday by The Detroit News through an open-records request of the Washtenaw Prosecutor's office, told arresting officer Robert Cole that he had been drinking at The Black Pearl on Main Street in Ann Arbor. Minick said he had approximately "4-5 APA pint beers" since 6 p.m. When he was asked how drunk he felt on a scale of 0-10, with 10 being the most drunk he had ever been, Minick "advised he was at a 4."

He was not asked to attempt the one-leg stand "for Minick's safety," according to the police report.

While at the hospital for the blood test, Minick had to be asked several times by officer Matthew Kessler to sit on the stretcher.

"He continued to refuse my lawful orders," Kessler wrote in the police report.

Kessler requested hospital security for assistance. After security arrived, Kessler again told Minick to sit on the stretcher so his blood could be taken.

"Minick still refused to listen to me at which point I forceably (sic) had to push him down on to the stretcher," Kessler wrote.

The accident occurred, Minick told officers, when a red vehicle to his right forced him off the road and into the ditch between eastbound and westbound Airport Boulevard on the west side of State Street, according to the police report. He said the car did not stop.

Cole wrote in the police report that he "could smell the odor of intoxicants" from Minick's breath.

Harbaugh suspended Minick indefinitely May 13 and reinstated him earlier this month. During his court appearance with attorney John Shea last week, Shea told the court that Minick is a 26-year veteran of the Marines and retired with the rank of colonel.

"He wants to take responsibility for this as he has and he wants to do it as quickly as he can and put this behind him all for good reasons," Shea told the court. "Mr. Minick is 50 years old, he's never been in trouble before with the law.

"He has a good job in a very responsible position at the University of Michigan. They know about this. They have supported him thus far. He feels badly about having placed them in the position that they're in as a result of this. This occurred and he knows he has to step up to it and he has. I don't believe, your honor, you're going to see Mr. Minick fail in his probation conditions or be before you again in this or any similar circumstance."

He was sentenced to eight months probation and paid court fines of $1,325.