Police cruiser damaged when man accused of trashing GRCC bathroom resists arrest
Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 6:46 p.m. on April 25, to add in the information from the GRCC Police obtained by The Collegiate through a Freedom of Information Act request regarding the damage to a police cruiser.
On Feb. 28, around 4:30 p.m. Officer Zack Penniman was dispatched to Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall on the G-2 level to a report of possible malicious damage to property. The suspect was a Black male wearing a stocking cap and a light blue jacket and was found walking northbound down Winchester Alley.
After contacting the suspect, the man yelled ”Fuck off” at Penniman and started walking toward Division Street. After a struggle to get the suspect to cooperate, Sgt. Timothy Nelson arrived and helped Penniman de-escalate the suspect and detained him on Ionia Avenue.
While being detained, the suspect started resisting by pulling his arms away from the officers. In an attempt to gain control, Officers Penniman and Nelson grabbed the suspect and pushed him into the left rear door of the police cruiser. The suspect yelled, “I don’t know anything about that fucking bathroom,” without being questioned about it. Penniman and Nelson then moved the suspect up against the cruiser for leverage.
According to the police report, a dent was left in the left passenger door due to moving the suspect up against the cruiser. Based on the information detailed in the Use of Force Report filed by Penniman and obtained by The Collegiate through the Freedom of Information Act, the suspect did not have any visible injuries or complaints.
After several attempts to arrest the suspect, both officers were able to safely and securely handcuff him. Shortly after, Sgt. Jesse Heard arrived on the scene and helped pull the man into the back of the cruiser after the man tried to stick his feet outside of the door and spit at the officers.
The man was arrested for trespassingGRCC PD, resisting arrest, and obstructing a police officer. He was then read his Miranda Rights by Penniman. Penniman asked him if he understood these rights and wished to speak with them, and after asking multiple times, the man did not answer. He was then transported to Kent County Correctional Facility. After being run through Michigan Law Enforcement Information Network, the suspect had no warrants or wants. However, he was on probation for owning a firearm and had two notices for involuntary hospitalizations for mental health.
On March 1, Myers petitioned Travis Earley, the Senior Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Kent County, for a felony warrant for trespassing, resisting arrest, and obstructing a police officer on the suspect. After reviewing the report, Earley denied the felony obstructing charge but authorized the misdemeanor trespassing charge. Meyers signed an affidavit.
The trespassing individual attempted to sell basketball to students
By Kaden Boock
On Feb. 8 at 12:19 p.m., Grand Rapids Community College police were dispatched to the G2 level of GRCC’s Main/North building for an individual trespassing and attempting to sell a basketball to students. The individual was described as a tall, older, black male. Police made contact with an individual matching the description and holding a basketball on the Dr. Juan R Olivarez Student Plaza.
The man said that he was attempting to meet an individual whose name he could not remember and that he was trying to give the basketball away. GRCC police responded by running the individual through LEIN and returned with a no-pick-up mental order and officer safety caution. A trespass warning was issued to the individual, and he left the area without issue.
Student Calls Campus Police due to dead car battery, ends up getting license plate destroyed
By Anna Creagan
On Feb. 8, around 7:30 p.m, a student reached out to campus police for assistance with a dead car battery being. The student’s vehicle was located on the sixth level of Grand Rapids Community College’s parking ramp A. The student and her passenger waited for a lift from GRCC Police to their car to receive assistance.
Unfortunately for the student, Officer Zack Penniman could not jump-start her car without a valid license. Luckily, the passenger of the student’s car did have a reputable license, and both students were advised that the car could be jump-started as long as the passenger with the valid license drove it.
After arriving on the scene, the officer ran the passenger’s license and found that he was clear to drive the car after it was jump-started. Dispatch then reminded the officer to run the license plate numbers on the car since the number was not written on the waiver the student filled out. Alas, the plate was expired, and Penniman was required to destroy it.
Officer Mario Jimenez then showed up at the parking ramp to assist Penniman with removing the license plate. As a result, the car was not jumped, and the student and her passenger were not allowed to drive it.
This case closed with Penniman destroying the license plate with a witness of Nelson at GRCC PD around 10:50 p.m.
Hit and Run in Parking Ramp A
By Catlin Phelan
On March 3, at 3:06 p.m, Grand Rapid Community College Police Department was dispatched to a report of a hit-and-run that occurred at GRCC Parking Ramp A, located at 143 Bostwick Ave NE.
The victim walked into the GRCC PD lobby to report that his Ford Fusion had been sideswiped while he was in class. Officer Timothy Nelson noticed that the victim’s car had scratches on the front left driver’s side mirror, which was cracked. Nelson reported that he observed additional scratches on the side of the door window trim, the left side door handle, and an abrasion on the left rear quarter panel.
The victim reported that these scratches were not previously there, and he had not noticed any suspects or suspects’ vehicles in the area. GRCC security camera footage was not in range to capture the incident.
Instruments stolen from GRCC music building
By Abby Kozal
On March 3, GRCC Police Department was dispatched to the Albert P. Smith Music Center at 3:06 p.m. after a walk-in complaint over stolen instruments. Officer Mario Jimenez was assigned to the complaint.
Over $400 worth of musical instruments were reported stolen from a locker in the music building. Instruments stolen included a Konga, a foot pedal bar, and a bass drum beater.
The incident is believed to have occurred between Feb. 20 and Feb. 27. During this week, GRCC was closed for inclement weather. The owner of these instruments believes the locker may have been left unlocked during this time. At first, the owner of these instruments believed the items were left at home and only filed a report once they believed they were missing.
At this time, GRCC police have no current leads or suspects.
Active Shooter Threat during LatinX Conference
By Jae Hibbard
On March 7, at approximately 9:30 a.m, Officer Kam Robles was dispatched to Ford Fieldhouse for a suspicious situation. Dispatch advised that a student received an airdropped document from an unknown individual that warned of a potential active shooter incident.
Robles made contact with the student, who was accompanied by an instructor. They were attending a LatinX conference when she received the document. She received several documents that had a similar message. The general message was, “I’m about to shoot this place up.”
Robles found that Apple does not provide an AirDrop history that includes sender information. The student could receive an AirDrop from anyone within a 30-foot radius, and there were hundreds of students within that radius.
GRCC police met with multiple organizers in an effort to come up with a plan of action going forward. Contact was eventually made with Larry Johnson, Director of Grand Rapids Public Schools Security, who dispatched security officers to the Ford Fieldhouse to set up metal detectors at the front entrance.
The building was locked down electronically, and Robles physically verified all doors in the building were secured. Students were advised to return to the Ford Fieldhouse from the Science Building from 11:30 to 11:45 a.m, where they stayed until 1:30 a.m. Upon their return to Ford Fieldhouse, students were only allowed in through the front entrance while passing single file through the metal detector.
During the student’s reentry, Johnson and his security located a knife on the ground stairwell leading up to the metal detector. The weapon was handed over to Lt. Robert Decker and put into the evidence room for safekeeping.
Additionally, during the course of the incident, a Grand Rapids Police Department K-9 Unit was requested and arrived on the scene. The interior of the Ford Fieldhouse was swept with negative results.