11-21-2019 Driving instructor charged with criminal sexual conduct; Watervliet Township approves ano

Driving instructor charged with criminal sexual conduct

Police Reports

By Annette Christie

Peter Charles Fleck, 56, a former driver’s education instructor for a local business, has been charged with five counts of criminal sexual conduct, 3rd degree. Police records show that Fleck began to instruct a 16-year-old female student in October of 2018. Incidents occurred from October to December of 2018 and in various locations throughout Berrien County.

Police records indicate that Fleck had sexual relations with the 16-year-old victim while he was in the position of authority over her. Due to the position of authority that Peter Fleck had at the time of the incidents, he was charged with 3rd degree Criminal Sexual Conduct by force or coercion.

Fleck was employed with Mr. G’s Driving School whose home base is in Three Oaks. They provide driving classes and instruction in the school districts of River Valley, Lakeshore, Bridgman, and Coloma according to their website.

Coloma School Superintendent Dave Ehlers stated that he was aware of the allegations and arrest of Mr. Fleck, who is not an employee of the district. Coloma Community Schools does contract with Mr. G’s driving school to provide driver education for their students. Mr. G’s rents space in their building but his instructors are his employees and not employees of the school district.

“When I learned of this incident last week, I contacted Mr. G’s Driving School to tell them Mr. Fleck could not be on our property or be involved with our students. Mr. G’s Driving School informed me that Mr. Fleck was no longer employed there,” Ehlers said.

The charges against Peter Fleck are merely accusations and he is innocent until guilt is proven otherwise.

Watervliet Township Police patrols seeking input

Police that cover Watervliet Charter Township would like to remind residents to complete the residence check forms on the township’s website.

Berrien County Sheriff Deputy Guy Puffer who patrols in Watervliet Township said that the residence monitoring service is available for people who are away from home for an extended time. There are a significant number of residents that are seasonal in the township.

The property check request form when adequately completed provides law enforcement the information needed to make sure that residences are checked during the timeframe that the homeowners are gone. In addition to the deputies assigned to the township, reserve officers for the Sheriff’s Office also do residential checks. Puffer recalls years ago when multiple houses were broken into and due to the form, they were able to easily get ahold of the homeowners.

Puffer said homeowners need not worry about confidentiality as only members of law enforcement have the information that is kept in a secure location. Once the homeowner returns to their property, the information sheets are shredded.

During August and September, the officers patrolling in Watervliet Township made six felony arrests, however, most of those were in connection with a traffic stop where the subject had a felony warrant out for their arrest. One of the incidents involved information from a felony probation officer, where the subject violated probation. Puffer worked with other law enforcement agencies to locate and apprehend the wanted subject.

Lock your cars message from Coloma Township Police Chief