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Another hit and run in the Bostwick ramp, stolen bicycle, and more in Sept. 29-Oct. 5 police reports


By Sherry Sokolowski

Strange situation outside of RJF skywalk doors

On Sept. 29 at 6:20 a.m. Officers Kaye Newberry and Timothy Nelson went to the top of the Bostwick parking ramp to respond to a report of a man banging on the doors of the Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall skywalk trying to get inside. Once the officers approached the man, he immediately began speaking incoherently.. 

He believed he was going to be arrested due to his criminal history that involved being arrested several times before. They identified the man and his record was clear, but he did have an officer safety caution and a personal protection order against him. Once the officers told him about this, the man said he was charged with beating his pregnant wife, but that she wasn’t pregnant at the time. The officers asked if he beat her and he said yes, but reiterated that she was not pregnant. 

The man claimed that he was a Grand Rapids Community College alumni and needed to speak with a professor inside the building. He told officers multiple times that he was a contractor, a construction worker, and GRCC saved his life. He said he had a “huge job to bid on,” and he needed advice from his advisor. 

The officers told him that the campus was closed and it wouldn’t open for a few hours. He was told to contact the professor directly. The man was also told to stay off campus until the meeting with the professor. He then said he was never coming back because he didn’t want to risk getting arrested and walked away.

Man arrested for warrant, found sleeping on campus

On Sept. 29  at 7:58 a.m. Nelson was patrolling the Bostwick Parking ramp and was told there was an individual sleeping in the main stairwell between the fifth and sixth levels. He woke the man up and asked him to keep his hands visible because he had a bag and other items with him. 

Nelson then asked if he was a student and he said he used to be but not at the moment. The man said he was sleeping in there to stay warm. At this point, Officer Robert Peters arrived as backup. It was found that he had two warrants – one from the Michigan Department of Corrections for a parole violation and the other was out of Big Rapids for contempt of court. 

After learning of the outstanding warrants, the officers asked if the man was aware of the warrants to which he claimed he was not. The officers placed the man under arrest without incident. The man was transported to the Kent City Corrections Facility where he was lodged for his warrant.

Graffiti found on storage pod

Also on Sept. 29 at 8:24 a.m. Peters was dispatched to the Phyllis Fratzke Early Childhood Learning Laboratory in regards to a vandalized storage pod. Peters spoke with the building manager and was shown the graffiti on the storage pod in the parking lot. The manager thought the damage occurred between 2 p.m. on Sept. 28 and 5:30 a.m. on Sept. 29. The graffiti appeared to be a smiley face and some numbers and letters written in black marker. The GRCC Police Department was not able to identify the suspect. 

Man’s car is side swiped at the top of the Bostwick commons

Around 12:05 p.m. on Sept. 30 Officer Michelle Tett went to the intersection of Lyon Street and Bostwick Avenue in regards to a possible accident. Tett spoke with a man outside of the GRCC Police Department. who said he was traveling west on Lyon Street and tried to make a left turn into the brick walkway at the north end of the Bostwick commons to pick up the owner of the vehicle.

Another vehicle was traveling down the road when it side swiped the man’s vehicle. The suspect  fled the scene and the man was not able to get a description of the suspect or vehicle. Neither the man nor the owner of the vehicle wanted to file a report. 

Hit and run in Bostwick parking ramp

On Sept. 30 at 7:12 p.m. Officer Kam Robles went to the sixth floor of the Bostwick parking ramp to meet with a man whose vehicle was damaged in a hit and run. There was damage on the passenger side of the vehicle that stretched from the back to the front door. The man said he parked his vehicle around 5 p.m. earlier that day and returned to find it damaged. There were no witnesses or surveillance footage from that specific area of the ramp. 

Three suspects involved in a stolen bicycle incident 

On Oct. 1 at 9:47 a.m. Peters met with a man in the police department lobby who reported that his bicycle was stolen. It was last seen when he locked it to a bicycle rack at the south end of the Bostwick commons on Sept. 29 at 6:54 p.m. When the man went to retrieve his bicycle on Oct. 1, it was gone. 

He did not know the make, model, or serial number of the bike. To help identify it, he did say there was a second blue lock on the front and the left hand brake was broken. After collecting this information, Peters reviewed the surveillance footage that covers the south end of the commons. 

The footage showed three male suspects approaching the area around 9:30 p.m. The first suspect was riding a Spin electric scooter and the other two were riding bicycles. The first man got off the scooter, walked up to the rack and admired the bicycles on it. He then walks back to his scooter and rides it about 50 feet away. He parks it and then returns to the bicycle rack where the other two suspects are standing. 

It appears that the other two males were lookouts for the first man as he bent over the rack. It was unclear exactly what he was doing, but after a few minutes he walked over to one of the other male’s bikes. At the same time, the second suspect removes the bicycle from the rack. All three men then ride the bicycles out of the area. 

The surveillance video also shows that the next day at 7:51 a.m. the scooter left by the first suspect was picked up by an unknown man. Peters sent an email to the Spin scooter company to request information on who might have rented the scooter. 

Traffic control post damaged in Bostwick ramp

On Oct. 2 at 1:30 p.m. Officer Zack Penniman met with a man in the Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse who had accidentally damaged a traffic control post in the entrance of the Bostwick parking ramp. He told Penniman that he was driving down Ransom Avenue when he turned into the Bostwick ramp. He said his rear bumper snagged on the traffic control post near the entrance and it was bent with a few minor scratches. 

Man claims to damage cement block, no damage found 

At 12:21 p.m. on Oct. 5 Nelson met with a man that said he hit one of the cement blocks at the Bostwick ramp exit. He said he was leaving the fifth level of the ramp when he noticed an empty, unknown car parked in the middle of the exit lane. He said he tried to maneuver around the unknown car and then scraped the cement block with his front bumper. 

The man had some light scratch marks on his vehiclear where he swiped the cement block. Sergeant Tony Myers went to check the exit lane and could not find the unknown vehicle. Nelson went to check the cement blocks at the top of the ramp and couldn’t find any damaged blocks either.

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