Police Reports By Annette Christie Man bounced out of club returns with a gun Workers and patrons at a Sister Lakes Club halted what could have been a tragedy on July 20, 2018 when at approximately 1:40 a.m. a man who had been thrown out returned with a weapon threatening others at the club. Van Buren County Sheriff Daniel E. Abbott reports that deputies were dispatched to The Lakeview Inn, 66461 Timmons Road, Dowagiac for a report of a Felonious Assault with a Dangerous Weapon. Deputies were advised by witnesses and staff that a 26-year-old male was asked to leave the establishment for acting out of control. When he would not leave the establishment on his own, he was forcibly removed. The suspect then retrieved a loaded semi-automatic rifle from his vehicle and returned to the patio of the establishment. The subject then pointed the weapon at the victim that had removed him from the facility. The victim and bystanders subdued the suspect and removed the weapon from his possession. He was held down and the weapon was secured until law enforcement could arrive on scene and restrain him. The suspect, Alanzo Gasca of Decatur, was arrested for Felonious Assault with a Deadly Weapon and Possession of a Firearm while Intoxicated, Carrying a Dangerous Weapon with Unlawful Intent, and Possession of a Firearm while under the Influence. A report was forwarded to the Van Buren County Prosecutor’s Office for review. Gasca was arraigned in the 7th District Court East (Paw Paw) on the charges in this incident. Bond was set at $50,000 Cash or Surety. Assisting with the incident were Pride Care EMS, Pokagon Tribal Police Department, Dowagiac Police Department, and the Cass County Sheriff’s Office
Curfew buster goes to jail During regular patrol on July 21, 2018 at about 10:53 p.m., a Coloma Township Police Officer stopped a vehicle near the intersection of N. West Street and W. Center Street for an equipment violation. During the stop the officer learned that the driver, a 24-year-old Coloma man, was on felony probation and was out after his court ordered curfew. The suspect was lodged at the Berrien County Jail. Detectives disrupt crack cocaine trafficking group in Benton Harbor On Monday July 16, 2018, SWET-West detectives along with members of the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department executed a narcotics sting operation at Seeley Street near East High Street in the City of Benton Harbor. This operation was conducted following numerous complaints from the community about drug sales in the area. SWET-West Detectives, along with Berrien County Road Patrol attempted to arrest Antonio Hall at Seeley Street near East High Street after he was observed making several drug sales. Hall fled on foot into 806 E. High St. SWET detectives then obtained a search warrant for this location. Officers located and arrested Antonio Hall along with other evidence related to drug sales and distribution. Antonio Hall, 29 years old, was arrested and arraigned in Berrien County 5th District Court on three counts of delivery of heroin, resisting and obstruction of police, and a parole absconder warrant. The Southwest Enforcement Team (SWET) is comprised of sworn law enforcement personnel from the Michigan State Police, Berrien County Sheriff’s Office, Barry County Sheriff’s Office, Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office, Kalamazoo Township Police Department, South Haven Police Department, and Covert Police Department. SWET is funded in part by the Michigan HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) as well as the U.S. Department of Justice, Byrne JAG grant. Multiple jurisdictions respond to vehicle chase On Thursday, July 19, 2018 at 5:42 p.m., Berrien County Sheriff’s Deputy Guy Puffer with the Watervliet Township patrol detail attempted to effect a traffic stop on a 2002 Oldsmobile mini-van for a defective equipment violation. The original attempt to effect the traffic stop took place on Red Arrow Highway near Industrial Drive in Watervliet Township. At that time, the vehicle was being operated by a male subject and there were two female passengers in the vehicle. When the deputy attempted to stop the vehicle, the vehicle fled from the scene and the pursuit went into various parts of Berrien County, Van Buren County, Cass County, and St. Joseph County in the State of Indiana. When the pursuit entered into the heavy congested traffic area of Niles Township, the pursuit was terminated at 6:20 p.m. by the deputies. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office was assisted in this incident by the Pokagon Tribal Police and the Hartford City Police Department. After the pursuit was terminated, the 2002 Oldsmobile was later found to be abandoned in the City of South Bend, Indiana. During a subsequent investigation, deputies learned that this vehicle was being operated by a 41-year-old male from the City of Niles. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office will be submitting the police investigation to the Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office for review on charges of fleeing and eluding, driving on a suspended operator’s license, and reckless driving. During the pursuit, no property was damaged and no one was injured.