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   Sheriff Reports  -  Almena Township, MI

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Jan 2011

Dec 2010

Nov 2010

Incident Number:  8247-10
Incident Type:  Possession of Methamphetamine,
Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Analogs, Drove While license Suspended.
Incident Location: 26778 M43 (Wolf Lake Party Store) Almena
Incident Date and Time:  November 1, 2010 at 2249.
Suspect:  Ernestine Dawn Olson, DOB 09-18-68, from Kalamazoo.
Child:  11 year old boy. Child of the suspect.

Information:  Sheriff Dale Gribler reports that deputies where dispatched to the Wolf Lake Party store for a female who was slumped over the steering wheel of her vehicle and appeared to be unconscious.  Deputies contacted the female Ernestine Olson, who was awake upon arrival.
     Deputies noticed that she was not making sense on what she was doing and where she was coming from
. Deputies noticed that there was a small child in the vehicle and asked why the child was sleeping inside the car at such a late hour. Ernestine stated that she was in an argument with her boyfriend and was cooling off in her car and did not want her child back at her house.
     Deputies ran a file check on Ernestine and found out that she had a warrant out of Kalamazoo City Police Department for Possession of Methamphetamine. Deputies were advised by the female that there was more Methamphetamine inside the car along with some Marijuana. Deputies were able to locate the Narcotics and also located several other pain narcotics that the female did not have a prescription for.
     Deputies turned the child over to a family friend and lodged Ernestine at the Van Buren County Jail. A report will also be sent to Child Protective Services reference this incident.  

Investigating Officers:  Deputy Casey Davis, Deputy Travis Bernatche
Contact information: 
On Duty Sgt.

Oct 2010

Incident No:   7552-10
Incident Type:  Fatal Traffic Crash.
Date and Time:  12:00 am, Thursday, October 7, 2010.
Location:  32000 block of 26th Avenue, Almena Township.
Vehicle Involved:  1994 Chevy Pickup, black in color.
Driver:  Tony Sanchez, 27 year old male DOB 03/21/1983, from Bloomingdale (deceased).
Injured Passenger:  Wendy Lynn Simpson, 31 year old female, DOB 02/11/1979, from Paw Paw.
Seatbelts:  It appears that seatbelts were not used.

Information:  Sheriff Dale R. Gribler reports that Deputies were dispatched to the 32000 block of 26th Ave in Almena Township for a rollover crash. 
     Upon arrival, Deputies noticed that the vehicle involved had hit a tree and that a female was laying on the ground near the vehicle.  Upon contact with the 31 year old female from Paw Paw it was determined that she was the passenger in the pickup truck.  The passenger was transported to Bronson Hospital where she is being treated for multiple injuries. 
     Deputies determined that the truck was traveling west bound on 26th Ave when it went off the roadway to the right.  The driver then over-corrected causing him to lose control of the truck. The vehicle then went across the road to the left, overturned, and hit a tree.  It was determined that the passenger was ejected from the truck.  The driver of the vehicle,
Tony Sanchez, was pronounced dead on scene. 
     The accident is still under investigation and it is not known at this time if alcohol was a factor. 

Assisting Agencies:  Pine Grove Fire Department, Van Buren EMS, and Van Buren County Medical Examiner.
Investigating Deputies: Deputy Greg Pentland, Deputy Jason Stasienko.
Supervisor Contact: Sgt. Dennis Harvey 657-3101 email or Lt Bob Kirk email

Sep 2010

Incident #:  7372-10
Incident Type::  Motorcycle-deer personal injury crash.
Date and Time::
 September 29, 2010 at approximately 2:00 pm
 42000 block of 27th street located in Almena Township.
  1996 Harley Davidson motorcycle.
Driver and Injuries:
 Marty Webber 40 year old Mattawan man.  Webber had a severe leg injury as well as road rash on various parts of his body as well.  Webber was wearing a helmet which was a major factor in preventing a serious head injury from the hard impact with the road.
Crash Factors:  Neither speed nor alcohol were factors in this crash.

Information:  Sheriff Dale R. Gribler reports that Van Buren County Sheriff deputies, along with additional emergency services personnel, responded to the 42000 block of 27th street for a report of a motorcycle/deer personal injury crash. 
     Emergency responders on scene found the motorcycle operator, 40 year old Marty Webber of Mattawan, lying alongside the roadway, severely injury.  Webber was found to have suffered a severe leg injury, along with a severe case of road rash as a result of this crash he was involved in.  Investigation into the crash found that Marty Webber had been traveling northbound on 27th street and while doing so a deer ran out into the path of motorcycle causing a collision.  The impact caused Webber to be ejected off his motorcycle and onto the pavement.  The deer was found to be deceased at the scene of this crash. 
     Webber was transported by ambulance to Bronson hospital in Kalamazoo for treatment.

Investigating Officer:  Sergeant David Walker, Deputy Matt Konkle.
Assisting Agencies:   Mattawan Quick Response Team and Van Buren EMS.
Supervisor Contact:
 On duty Sgt., (269) 657-3101 or Operations Lt. Robert Kirk, (269) 657-2006, email.  

Incident No:  7226-10
Incident Type:
 Personal injury traffic crash.
Date-Time:  September 24, 2010 at approximately 10:25am.
 44000 block of CR 653 in Almena township.
  1988 Dodge SUV.  Vehicle sustained major damage from rolling over and crashing into a tree.
 79 year old Albert Schultz from Paw Paw.  Schultz was transported by ambulance to Lakeview hospital for various non life threatening injuries.
Seatbelts:  Driver was wearing his seatbelt.
Crash Factors:   Speed appears a factor to which the driver was cited for careless driving.

Information:  Sheriff Dale R. Gribler reports that Van Buren county sheriff deputies, along with additional emergency services personnel, responded to a report of a one vehicle rollover personal injury crash, in the 44000 block of CR 653. 
     Emergency responders on scene noted the 1988 Dodge on its roof, off the road, and up against a tree as well.  The driver, and sole occupant in this vehicle, 79 year old Albert Schultz from the Paw Paw area was found to be trapped, hanging upside down inside this vehicle. 
     Paw Paw fire department utilized the “jaws of life” to extricate Schultz from his car, then transported him by ambulance to Lakeview hospital in Paw Paw for treatment of non life threatening injuries that he sustained in relation to this crash. 
     Investigation into the crash, and information from witnesses to the same is that Schultz had been traveling southbound on CR 653 at a high rate of speed and was unable to negotiate a curve in the road, he lost control, went off the road and rolled his vehicle over what appears to have been 3 times until it came to rest up against a tree.

Photos:  IMG_4486  9-24-2010.JPG   IMG_4488  9-24-2010.JPG   IMG_4489  9-24-2010.JPG

Investigating Officer:   Sergeant David Walker, Deputy Ben Downey.
Assisting Agencies:
  Paw Paw fire department, Paw Paw Quick Response Team, Van Buren EMS.
Supervisor Contact:
 The on-duty Sgt. at (269) 657-3101 or Operations Lt. Robert Kirk at (269) 657-2006 email.

Incident #:  6620-10
Incident Type:   2 Car Personal Injury Crash
Location:  Intersection of M-43 and Fish Hatchery Road in Almena Township.
Date and Time:  September 3, 2010 at approximately 11:30am
Vehicle/Driver Information #1:  Lorna Healy, an 80 year old female from Paw Paw.  Healy sustained minor injuries as a result of this crash which she was in turn treated at the scene for.  Healy was seat belted in as did her vehicles airbags deploy.  Healy was operating a 1995 Chevy Cavalier that sustained major damage.
Vehicle/Driver Information #2:  Robert Mekemson a 66 year old man from Kalamazoo.  Mekemson sustained just bumps and bruises from the crash and was treated at the scene by emergency responders.  Mekemson was wearing his Seatbelt as did his vehicles airbags deploy.  Mekemson was Operating a 2000 Nissan Pathfinder that sustained major damage as a result of this crash.
Alcohol/Speed:  Neither are factor in this crash.  Healy was cited for failing to yield the right of way.  

Information:  Sheriff Dale R. Gribler reports that Van Buren County Sheriff Deputies, along with additional emergency services personnel, were dispatched to the intersection of M-43 Highway and Fish Hatchery Road for a reported 2-vehicle personal injury crash.  Emergency responders on scene noted both vehicles had sustained substantial damage, as was one vehicle viewed to be on its side.  Both drivers sustained minor injuries to which they were treated and released while at the scene of this crash.  Information from both drivers, and several witnesses who were on scene, advised that the 1995 Chevy Cavalier was northbound on Fish Hatchery Road, driven by that of Lorna Healy.  Healy failed to yield the right of way to the 2000 Nissan Pathfinder, driven by John Mekemson, who was westbound on M43.  The collision forced Healy off the road and flipped the Mekemson vehicle onto its side.  Healy was cited for failing to yield the right of way.  Neither speed or alcohol were factors in this traffic crash. 

Assisting:  Paw Paw Fire Department, Paw Paw Quick Response Team, Van Buren EMS.
Investigating Officers:  Sergeant David Walker and Deputy Ben Downey.
Contact Persons:  On Duty Supervisor or Lt Robert Kirk at 269-657-3101, email.

Photos:  9-4-10 walker 004.jpg    9-4-10 walker 010.jpg

Aug 2010

Incident No:   800332-10
Incident Type:   Search Warrant, Manufacture Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Meth
Date & Time:   August 24, 2010 at approx. 7:30pm
Location:  35180 22nd St, Almena Township, Van Buren County
Suspect:   25 yr old male, Kalamazoo, MI, 29 yr old female, Kalamazoo, MI

Information:  Sheriff Dale R. Gribler states the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit received a citizen tip, in reference to subjects growing marijuana at their residence. 
     Narcotics detectives conducted a short investigation and were able to obtain a search warrant for the residence.  Narcotics detectives, along with deputies from the uniform response division, executed the search warrant.  Located outside the residence were 2 marijuana plants.  Located in the basement area, in a make shift grow room, was a marijuana plant in a pot and another one which was pulled and being dried.  Located in the breezeway was another marijuana plant that was pulled and being dried.  Located in the bedroom area was paraphernalia used smoking methamphetamine, along with a user amount of marijuana.   
     Incident remains under investigation and will be forwarded to the Paw Paw Prosecutors office for criminal charges of manufacturing marijuana, possession of marijuana and possession of meth.

Anyone with information can contact the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office at (269) 657-3101, Crime Stoppers 1-800-342-7867, Silent Observer (269) 343-2100 or your local Police Department.

 Submit Silent Observer tips here         Submit CrimeStoppers tips here

Investigating Officers:  Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit Uniform Response Division
Supervisor Contact: 
Bryan R. Stump D/Lt., Phone (269) 657-3101 Ext 208, email.

Jul 2010

Jun 2010

Incident #:  4516-10
Incident Type:  Car-motorcycle personal injury crash
Date & Time of Incident:  June 25, 2010 at approximately 4:35pm
Location of Incident:   Intersection of CR375 (Almena road) and 22nd street (Van Kal) in Almena Township.
Motorcycle Operator:   Jacob Hatfield, 23 year old Paw Paw man.  Injuries were to his leg and arm,  He was transported by ambulance to Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo for treatment. Hatfield was listed in good condition as was he during the crash wearing his required helmet.
Motorcycle information:   1999 Kawasaki ZX600
Passenger Car Operator:  Amy Riegle, 35 year old Paw Paw woman.  Driver uninjured and was wearing her seatbelt.
Vehicle information:  2004 Chevy Malibu passenger car.
Crash Factor:  speed

Narrative:  Sheriff Dale R. Gribler reports that Van Buren County Sheriff deputies and additional emergency services personnel were dispatched to the intersection of CR 375 and 22nd Street for a car versus motorcycle personal injury crash. 
     Emergency responders on scene found the motorcycle operator, Jacob Hatfield lying in the roadway with a visible leg injury which was in need of immediate medical attention.  Hatfield’s motorcycle was also noted in the roadway heavily damaged. 
     Deputies spoke to the car operator, Amy Riegle, who stated that she attempted to turn southbound onto 22nd Street, believing she had time to do so safely, but was struck by the motorcycle as she did so. 
     Speaking to witness at the scene they stated that the motorcycle operated by Hatfield had been traveling eastbound on CR 375 at a high rate of speed just prior to the crash.  Hatfield was cited for speed to fast.               

Investigating Officer:    Deputy Dan Abbott, Sergeant David Walker
Assisting Agencies:   Mattawan Police, Oshtemo Fire and Rescue.
Contact Person: On duty Sergeant or Lieutenant Robert Kirk 269-657-3101, email

Incident type:  Personal injury crash
Incident number:  4420-10
Date and Time: June 22, 2010 at 1830 hrs
Location:  M43 at 29th Str, Almena Township
Vehicle #1:  2003 Chevy Impala, sliver in color
     Driver #1: Robert Walter Maddron, 73 year old South Haven man
     Passenger #1: Elmer Imogene Maddron, 87 year old South Haven woman
Vehicle #2: 1997 Ford Expedition, red in color
     Driver #1:  Michael Alan Haney, 49 year old Paw Paw man
Seatbelt use:  All parties were wearing seatbelts

Narrative:  Sheriff Dale R. Gribler reports deputies were dispatched to M-43 and 29th Street for a reported personal injury crash.
     Upon arrival, two elderly injured subjects were trapped in their 2003 Chevy Impala. The driver of the 1997 Ford Expedition was also noted to have suffered minor injuries and was walking around at the scene.
     Through investigation, it was determined that the silver Impala was attempting to make a left turn into a business in this area when two uninvolved cars stop behind the impala.  The red Expedition was unable to stop and attempted to drive around the line of cars to the left. Upon doing so, the silver Impala began its left turn and the red Expedition hit the silver Impala in the driver’s door pinning both subjects inside. Driver, Michael Haney, suffered only minor injuries.  Driver, Robert Maddron, and passenger, Elmer Maddron, were transported to Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo, where the driver was admitted with non-life threatening injuries.  Elmer was treated and expected to be released.
     Driver, Michael Haney, was found to be at fault for improper passing.

Assisting Agency:  Paw Paw QR and VBEMS Paw Paw Fire Rescue
Investigating officers:  Dep Charon, Dep Davis, Sgt. Schmitt
Contact person:  On Duty Supervisor 657-3101

May 2010

Apr 2010

Incident No:  2554-10
Incident Type:  Possession of methamphetamine & possession of marijuana.
Date & Time: 
April 17, 2010 at 2:50 am.
Wolf Lake Public Access, Almena Twp., Van Buren County, MI.
Vehicle: Teal GMC Sierra 2-door pick up truck.
Controlled Substance: 
Methamphetamine & marijuana was found in the vehicle.
  39 year old male, name being withheld pending arraignment.
Charges:  Possession of methamphetamine & possession of marijuana.
Possession of marijuana.

Information:  Sheriff Dale R. Gribler reports that on 4-17-2010 at 2:50 a.m., deputies were conducting a property inspection of Wolf Lake Public Access.
     Deputies made contact with a teal GMC Sierra pickup as the access was closed. Contact was made with the driver and he was questioned as to his reason for being at the access, as it was closed. While speaking with the driver, deputies notice a marijuana pipe in plain view in the vehicle. A search of the vehicle found an additional marijuana pipe and methamphetamine. The driver admitted to the controlled substances belonging to him. Driver also admitted to using meth. He was arrested for possession of methamphetamine & possession of marijuana and lodged at the VBC Jail.

Investigating Officers:  Deputy Matthew Konkle & Adam Bielang, Van Buren County Sheriff's Office.
Contact Person: 
Lt. Lux or on duty supervisor.

Mar 2010

Incident #:  1764-10.
Incident type:
 Suicidal suspect & possession of a firearm while intoxicated.
Date & time:
  March 17, 2010 at 2:58 pm.
  23000 block of CR375, Almena Twp., Van Buren County.
Alcohol involved:
  Alcohol was believed to be a factor. A PBT was given to the suspect with a result of .36 bac.
Suspect:  41 year old white male. Suspect's name is being withheld pending arraignment.
Weapon:   A .22 caliber Winchester model 150 rifle. 
Property seized:
  8 firearms were seized from the suspect's residence, including 3 rifles, 3 shotguns, 1 muzzleloader rifle, & 1 air rifle. Weapons were taken for safe keeping. 
  Suspect was arrested for the offense of possession of a firearm while intoxicated.

  Sheriff Dale R. Gribler reports that on the date of March 17, 2010 at approximately 2:58 pm, deputies responded to a 911 call of a suicidal subject armed with a gun and shooting it into the air at the present time.  
     Upon arrival, deputies did hear shots being fired from the rear of the house. Deputies, along with Michigan State Police troopers, did make contact with the subject and talked him into putting the firearm down. At that point, the officers did make contact with the subject and did subsequently find him to be intoxicated. Subject did inform officers that he had wanted to take his own life. A preliminary breath test taken from the subject did yield a result of .36 bac.
     Subject was placed under arrest for the offense of possession of a firearm while intoxicated. Subject was taken to the hospital for medical evaluation and subsequently lodge at the Van Buren County jail.

Assisting agencies:
  Deputies where assisted by the michigan state police, Van Buren Emergency Medical Services, & Mattawan Quick Response. 
Investigating Officers:
  Deputy Matthew Konkle, Deputy Adam Bielang.
Contact person:
  On-duty supervisor or Lt. William Lux, (269) 657-3101, email.

Incident Numbers:  #1563-10, #1564-10, #1565-10, #1566-10.
Date and Time:  Monday, March 8, 2010 at approximately 20:33 hours
Incident Type:  Multiple Vehicle Accidents-Fatality
Location:  23,000 block M-43, Almena Township
                   26,000 block M-43, Almena Township
                   30,000 block M-43, Almena Township
Vehicles Involved: 
Accident #1: Coloma EMS Ambulance
Accident #2: 1997 Ford Taurus, Red
Accident #3: 2001 Oldsmobile Alero, Black
Accident #4: Oldsmobile, Gold
                   1995 Saturn Vue, Blue
     Accident #1: 
Mark Anthony Haney, Coloma EMS Ambulance - Not Injured.
                          Jessica Zirkle, Coloma EMS - Not Injured.
     Accident #2: 
Michelle Smith, 34 years, Grand Junction, MI - Not Injured.
     Accident #3:  Jay Michael Oakley, 40 years, Portage, MI - Transported to Bronson Hospital
                          with Neck and Back Injuries.
     Accident #4:  Oldsmobile driver to be released at later time - Not injured.
Deceased:  Everett Painter, 58 years, Lawton, MI.
Alcohol involved:  Unknown at this time. 

INFORMATION:  Sheriff Dale R. Gribler reports that on Monday March 8, 2010 at approximately 20:33 hours Sheriff Deputies were dispatched to the 23,000 block of M-43 in  Almena Township for a report that a vehicle had just struck a Coloma EMS Ambulance that was westbound on M-43.
     Deputies were advised that the vehicle that struck the ambulance continued westbound on M-43. As Deputies were responding Van Buren Central Dispatch received a second and third 911 call reporting that a vehicle had struck a second vehicle in the 26,000 block of M-43 and that a third vehicle that had rolled over with the driver entrapped.
     As Deputies approached the scene, Deputies were flagged down in the 30,000 block of M-43 in which two vehicle had collided and one of the vehicle left the roadway striking a private residence.  
     Deputies are still investigating all four of these separate crashes. At this point, it was determined that a 1995 Saturn Vue, being operated by Everett Painter, was westbound on M-43 where Painters vehicle struck a Coloma EMS Ambulance that was traveling westbound. Painter's vehicle continued westbound on M-43 at a high rate of speed where Painters vehicle collided with two separate additional vehicles in the 26,000 block. Painter's vehicle continued westbound, at which time near 30th Street, Painters vehicle struck a fourth vehicle causing Painters vehicle to leave the roadway, overturning multiple times, and coming to rest after striking a residence.  The occupants of the residence were home at the time, however, were not injured with damage being sustained to the attached garage of the residence.  Everett Painter was extricated from the vehicle by the Paw Paw Fire Department utilizing the Jaw of Life. Everett Painter was pronounced dead at the scene.
     The driver of the third vehicle, Jay Oakley received Neck and Back injuries and was transported by Van Buren Emergency Medical Services to Bronson Hospital. No other injuries were reported by the other drivers or occupants. Deputies are still currently investigating all four accidents.  

Assisting Agencies:  Deputies were assisted by the Michigan State Police (Paw Paw), Paw Paw Fire Department, Paw Paw Quick Response, Kalamazoo County Sheriff’ Office, Gobles/Pine Grove Fire Department.
Investigating Deputies:  Sergeant Scott Schmitt (269) 657-3101 ext. 801, Deputy Travis Bernatche (269) 657-3101, Deputy Jim Charon (269) 657- 3101.
Supervisor Contact:  Operations Lieutenant William Lux (269) 657- 2006 ext. 203, email, or the On-Duty Sergeant.                                       

Incident #:   1462-10
Incident Type/Arrest charges:  OUID (operating while under the influence of narcotics), possession of marijuana.
Date and Time: 
 March 4, 2010 at approximately 2:30pm.
 28000 block of M-40 Highway in Almena Township.
Arrested:  34 year old Gobles woman (name withheld pending arraignment).
Vehicle:   subject was operating a 1995 Mercury Sable 4-door passenger car.

Seized suspected narcotics:   suspected methadone and marijuana. 

Information:   Sheriff Dale R. Gribler reports that Van Buren County deputies were alerted by motorists of a reckless driver northbound on M-40 Highway from M-43. 
     Sheriff deputies did locate the vehicle in question, that being a 1995 Mercury Sable which was noted to be driving erratically.  A stop of the vehicle was made, deputies were able to determine the driver, and sole occupant of this car appeared to be visibly impaired by means other than alcohol.  Deputies evaluated this driver in ways similar to that of a person having consumed alcohol.  The driver was found to be under the influence of some type of narcotic which she was arrested for.  Upon checking her vehicle, suspected marijuana and several pills were found.  The driver did admit to deputies at this time she had ingested several pills, more than she is prescribed to take a short time ago.  It was further discovered that this woman had been currently enroute to an area school to pickup her child as well. 
     The driver was arrested for OUID and possession of marijuana and is currently lodged in the Van Buren county jail awaiting arraignment on these charges.

Investigating officer:  Sergeant David Walker.
Supervisor contact:
On Duty Sergeant or Lt William Lux at 269-657-3101 email.

Feb 2010

Jan 2010

Dec 2009

Nov 2009

INCIDENT #:   09-8319
INCIDENT TYPE:  Breaking and Entering.
October 27, 2009 (Tuesday), early morning hours.
LOCATION:  Kruizenga Archery, 24780 M-43 Highway, Almena Township, Van Buren County 
     1.  Johnathan Russell Wood, 19, Paw Paw resident.
Johnathan Russell Wood

     2.  John Edward Taylor, 19, Paw Paw resident.
 John Edward Taylor

     Wood:    1 count of Breaking and Entering a Building with Intent -10 year felony.
    1 count of breaking and Entering a Building with Intent- 10 year felony 

Both Wood and Taylor have been arraigned on the charges and have been set for a preliminary exam in Paw Paw District Court.

INFORMATION:  Sheriff Dale R. Gribler reports that in the early morning hours of Tuesday, 10-27-2009, Deputies from the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office responded to a business alarm at Kruizenga Archery in Almena Township.  
     Once deputies arrived on scene, it was discovered that the business was broken into.  In the course of the investigation, Deputies found that five compound hunting bows and three cross bows had been stolen from Kruizenga’s.
     The Van Buren County Detective Bureau followed up on this investigation and developed two suspects, which lead to the recovery of four compound hunting bows and two cross bows, valued at approximately $3,300. 
     The Van Buren County Prosecutor’s office authorized charges of breaking and entering on both subjects, who have since been arrested. 

RECOVERED PROPERTY:  Two (2) Mission maniac Compound Bows, Two (2) Mission Eliminator Compound Bows, One (1) Eastman Outfitters Cross Bow, and One (1) TenPoint Cross Bow.
INVESTIGATING OFFICERS: Deputy Greg Pentland, Deputy Travis Bernatche, Deputy Casey Davis, (269) 657-3101, Detective Gabrielle Rought, (269) 657-7711, Detective Sgt. Tom Macyauski, (269) 657-7711.
SUPERVISOR CONTACT:  Bryan R. Stump, D/Lieutenant email, Narcotic's & Investigative Divisions.

**Anyone with information can contact the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office at (269) 657-3101, or Crime Stoppers 1-800-342-7867, or Silent Observer (269) 343-2100.

Oct 2009

Update on the Good Samaritans that assisted in helping Mr. Crouse out of his vehicle.  Ryan Turanzas, out of Paw Paw, helped Mr. Crouse from his vehicle. The second subject to help was Anthony Atwater, out of Lawton, detached the battery of the vehicle.

Incident number:  8092-09
Incident type:
  Personal Injury Crash.
Date and Time:
October 18, 2009 at 1315hrs.
Location of Incident:
  CR-653 and Anthony
St., Paw Paw, Almena Twp.
  Jack Beringson Crouse,
66 year old out of Cassopolis.
Vehicle: 1999 Land Rover.
Seat Belt:  Yes, it was used.
Chest and head injuries

Narrative:  Dale R Gribler reports that on the listed date and time deputies responded to a one car personal injury crash.
     While deputies were in route, they were advised that the sole occupant of the vehicle had been removed and that the vehicle was now on fire. Upon arrival, deputies determined that a passerby drove by the crash and, noticing the crash, stopped to render aid.  Deputies were advised that when the passerby made contact with the driver, he stated that he had fallen asleep. The passerby then noticed the vehicle starting to burn and, at that time, he tried to break the window to get the driver from the vehicle.  The passerby was able to break the window and remove the injured driver from the vehicle through the driver side window. Upon Deputies arrival, the vehicle was fully engulfed and a complete loss. Paw Paw fire arrived on-scene and extinguished the car.
     The driver was transported to Bronson Hospital by VEBEMS and is listed in fair condition
on 10/19/2009.

Investigating Officer:  Deputy Charon, 657-3101 ext 809.
Supervisor Contact:
 Sgt. Polomcak, 657-3101 ext 805, email

Sep 2009

Incident Type:  Animal cruelty investigation-malicious destruction of property - arson.
Date and Time:
  The dog that was killed took place on September 19, 2009 at approx. 5:00 a.m.   The damage to the Almena store took place September 19, 2009 at around 5:45 a.m. Arson vehicle took place September 19, 2009 at around 6:00 a.m.
     29000 block 42nd avenue located in Almena township (dog owners location).
     42505 CR 653 located in Almena township (Almena store).

     42000 block of 32nd street Almena township (arson).

Incident Numbers:   7270-09, 7272-09, 7273-09.
Dog information:   9 year old 10 pound Yorkshire dog (killed).
Property damaged:   Front window of the Almena store.  1992 Chevy Lumina.

Suspect:  Only suspect information available was a single subject (unknown race or gender) wearing a
hooded sweatshirt.                         

Information:  Sheriff Dale R. Gribler reports that Van Buren county sheriff deputies were called to the 29000 block of 42nd avenue this morning at around 5:00 a.m. 
     The homeowner stated he let the family dog, a 9 year old 10 pound people-friendly Yorkshire dog outside for just a few minutes; just after doing so he heard the dog yelp, the owner going out to check on his dog viewed a subject beating the dog with a club type object.  The suspect, seeing the dog owner, fled on foot.  Deputies on scene were unable to located the suspect and did also find the dog had died from injuries sustained in this beating. 
     It was also during this time other area businesses and residence began reporting damage done to their property as well.  The Almena store located in the 42000 block of CR 653 at 5:48 a.m. had its alarm activated by persons having thrown a rock threw the front window of the store.
     At around 6:00 a.m. a homeowner in the 42000 block of 32nd Street reported his 1992 Chevy Lumina on fire; this investigation is believed to be arson.  All these incidents took place this morning.  
     Troopers from the Michigan State Police Paw Paw post are also handling similar reports of damage as well a stolen vehicle in this same area.  Anyone with information in relation to these incidents are urged to please contact the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office 269-657-3101, Michigan State Police 269-657-5551, Silent Observer 269-343-2100 or Crime Stoppers at 800-342-7867.

Almena Store     mb003     mb007
Car arson    002   003    004    005   006  

Investigating Officers:   Deputies Tarner, Stolsonburg, Loughrin and Walker, Uniform Response Division.
Supervisor Contact:    On duty Sergeant or Lt William Lux at 269-657-3101

Aug 2009

Jul 2009

Incident Type:  Single Vehicle Personal Injury Crash.
Date and Time:  July 19, 2009 at 2:10 a.m.
Location:  46,000 Block of County Road 653 Almena Township.
Driver #1:
   21 year old male from Mattawan.
Injuries to Driver:
  The 21 year old driver was transported to Bronson ER for injuries to his arms and face.  The complete extent of his injuries is unknown.
Vehicle Involved:  1990 Chevy Truck.
  Alcohol is believed to be a factor in this crash.  The crash is currently under investigation.

  Sheriff Dale R. Gribler reports that Deputies were dispatched to the 46000 block of CR 653 for an unknown personal injury crash.  Upon arrival, Deputies found that the driver of the vehicle hit a tree and was pinned in the driver's seat. The driver had to be extracted by the Jaws of Life. 
     Deputies investigated the crash and determined that the driver was heading eastbound on CR 653 and missed the curve, driving straight into the woods and hitting a tree.  The vehicle was off the road for approximately 50 yards before hitting the tree. 
     The driver was transported to Bronson Hospital by ambulance, due to his injuries.  

Assisting Agencies:  Paw Paw Police Department, Paw Paw Quick Response, Paw Paw Fire Department, and Van Buren EMS.
Investigating Officer:
  Deputy Greg Pentland (269-657-3101 Ext. 822).
Supervisor Contact:
   Sgt. Wayne Polomcak (269-657-3101 Ext. 210) Click here to send an email.

Incident Type:  Personal Injury Crash.
Date & Time of Incident: 
 July 12, 2009, at 1:56 P.M.
Location of Incident: 
45000 Block of M-40, Almena Twp., Van Buren County, State of Michigan.
Vehicle #1: 
2006 Harley Davidson XL1200L.
     Driver #1:  Peggy Williams Harmon, 49 year old female from White Pigeon.
     Injuries:  Possible broken arm and shoulder and large laceration to forehead.
Hospital Information:  Victim was transported to Bronson Hosp., Kalamazoo, by VBEMS and admitted to the Trauma Care Unit.
Vehicle #2:  2002 Kawasaki Vulcan.
Driver #2:  Steven Wayne Harman, 56 year old male from White Pigeon.

Seat Belts used:  Helmets were used.
Is alcohol a factor:  Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in this crash.
Criminal Charges: 

Narrative:   Sheriff Dale R. Gribler reported that Peggy Williams Harman crashed into her husband Steven Wayne Harman on M40 just south of 46th Ave.
     Both individuals were riding separate motorcycles. A vehicle stopped suddenly in front of Mr. Harman and he was able to stop in time. However, Hartman's wife who was riding behind him was unable to stop in time. Mrs. Hartman impacted Mr. Hartman's motorcycle, tearing off the right side saddle bag. Mrs. Hartman lost control and crashed on the right side of the roadway and sustained multiple injuries. Mrs. Hartman was transported to Bronson Hosp. by VBEMS.  

Assisting Agencies
Paw Paw Quick Response Team, Paw Paw P.D., Van Buren EMS.
Investigating Officer:  Deputy Kim Desch and Deputy Ron Douglas, can be contacted at 269-657-3101.
Contact Person:  Please call the on duty sergeant at 269-657-3101.

Incident Type:  Personal Injury Crash 
Date and Time:
  July 10, 2009 at 16:15 hrs 
:  M-43 - CR 653 south 
Incident #:
Vehicle #1:  1999 Oldsmobile Bravada 
Driver #1:  Tyler Brian Geipel (18) Kalamazoo 
Injuries #1:  Numerous bumps, bruises and small cuts.  Possible concussion.  Was taken to Bronson and a CT scan was being done.
  1999 GMC Suburban    
Driver #2:  Craig Gordon Wilder (41) Kalamazoo 
     Injuries #2:
  No visible injuries.  Complained of being sore.  Refused medical treatment

Shawn Wilder (39), 5 children - 12, 9, 7, 4, 1 month old
Injuries to Passengers:  Shawn Wilder, who was in the front seat passenger side of the vehicle, was the only one to have any known injuries.  She had a cut on her left shin.  She refused any medical treatment at the scene. 
Alcohol:  Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in this incident.

Information:     Sheriff Dale R. Gribler reports that a deputy was dispatched to M-43 and CR 653 South for a personal injury accident.  Upon arrival, all parties involved were out of the vehicles and citizens were assisting with medical treatment. 
     The deputy on scene investigated the crash and believes Geipel, Unit #1, crossed the center line to avoid a vehicle that had slammed on its breaks in front of him.  Geipel was headed west bound on M-43.  The Wilder family was headed east bound on M-43 when Geipel's car came in their lane.  Mr. Wilder attempted to swerve to avoid contact with unit #1 but struck the back passenger side of the vehicle.  Mr. Wilder slammed on the breaks and guided his car off the shoulder of the road where it came to stop.  The vehicle had severe front end damage and, although the family was shaken, there were no serious injuries.  The families were all wearing seatbelts and the infant and small children were all in the appropriate restraints. 
     Mr. Geipel's vehicle, after the collision, hit the outside shoulder of the road and flipped over three times stated witnesses.  He was removed from the vehicle with the assistance of a doctor and nurse who were passing by.  They assisted with medical treatment on Geipel, as there were some concern over head and neck injuries.  He was wearing his seatbelt at the time of incident.  Geipel was transported to Bronson hospital by VBEMS. 
     At this time there have not been any citations issued in this incident.

Assisting Agencies:  Also assisting with the accident was Paw Paw Quick Response and Paw Paw Fire Rescue. 
Investigating Officer:
   Deputy Trever Tate 
Supervisor Contact: 
Sergeant Wayne Polomcak

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