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   Sheriff Reports  -  Decatur Township, MI


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Jan 2011

Incident No:  109-11
Incident  Type:  Car v. House Property Damage Crash, No Insurance, Expired License, Providing False Information to a Peace Officer & speed Too Fast For Conditions.
Location of Incident:  83000 Block of M-51 Hwy., Decatur Twp., County of Van Buren, State of Michigan, 49045.
Date and Time:  Wednesday, January 5th, 2011 at 7:54 a.m..
Driver-Suspect:  34 year old male. Name is being withheld pending arraignment.
Arrest:  Driver was arrested for providing false information to a peace officer, driving while license expired, & for no insurance on motor vehicle.
Citation Issued:  A citation was issued to the driver-suspect for driving too fast for conditions, driving while license expired, & for no insurance on the motor vehicle being driven. 
Vehicle:  Black, 2008 Chevrolet Trailblazer, 4-Door. The vehicle was impounded.
Property Damage:  The residence that was hit by the vehicle sustained major damage.
Information:  Sheriff Dale R. Gribler reports that on Wednesday, January 5th at 0754 am, officers responded to the 83000 block of M-51 Highway in Decatur Township reference a car versus house property damage crash.
     Upon arrival, the vehicle was discovered next to the house that it had struck. Both the vehicle and the residence (which was moved about 1 foot off its original foundation) had sustained significant damage. When asked for his license and insurance, the driver-suspect stated that he did not have valid insurance on the vehicle. He also continued to give officers false names and dates of birth. It was eventually discovered that the driver had an expired license.
     The cause of the crash appears to be due to the fact the driver was traveling too fast for conditions, this as the roadway was snow covered and slippery. 
      He was arrested for providing false information to a peace officer, driving while license expired, and for not having insurance on his vehicle. He was lodged at the Van Buren County Jail.
Reporting Officer:  Deputy Matthew Konkle, Van Buren County Sheriff's Office
Assisting Agency:  Deputy Chief Thomas Dahlquist, Decatur Police Department
Contact:  Lt. Kirk email or On Duty Sergeant at 269-657-3101
Photos:  109-11 IMG_9014.JPG    109-11 IMG_9015.JPG     109-11 IMG_9016.JPG  
109-11 IMG_9017.JPG     109-11 IMG_9022.JPG     109-11 IMG_9023.JPG

Sep 2010

Incident #:  7042-10
Incident Type:  traffic violation arrests, flee and eluding police, driving while licensed suspended-2 offense, no vehicle insurance.
Incident Location:   71000 block of 39th street located in Decatur township.
Incident Date/Time:
  September 18th, 2010 at 3:15pm
Suspect/arrest information:  49 year old Lawton man (name withheld pending arraignment)
Vehicle information: 
1999 Buick passenger car

Information:   Sheriff Dale R. Gribler reports that deputies, while on patrol, attempted to stop a vehicle for having no registration plate visible. 
     The driver, during this time, accelerated quickly in attempts to elude the deputy traveling down 72nd avenue, then into a farm where he then attempted to hide both his car and himself from officers who were able to locate him and take him into custody without further incident.  The driver admitted to deputies that he had attempted to lose officers as his license was suspended and he had no plates or insurance on the car he was operating. 
     The driver was transported to and lodged in the Van Buren county jail on the above listed charges.

Investigating Officer:  Sergeant David Walker
Contact persons:  on duty sergeant or Lt Robert Kirk at 269-657-3101, email

Aug 2010

Incident No6273-10
Incident Type:
  Felonious Assault (Stabbing)
Incident Date and Time:  August 22, 2010 at 5:46 am
Incident Location:
  40000 Block of County Road 352, Decatur, MI
Victim:  32 year old male from the Dowagiac Area.
17 year old male from the Cassopolis Area
Victim Injuries:
  The victim had 2 Stab wounds in his back
Weapon:  Knife had a 7" blade

Information:   Sheriff Dale R. Gribler reports that Deputies were dispatched to the 40,000 block of CR 352 in Decatur Twp for a fight and the victim of a stabbing.
     Upon arrival reporting officers located 32 year old Jesus Martinez Cristova. Cristova suffered 2 stab wounds to the lower right side of his back from a 7" lock blade knife that was recovered at the scene. 

     Investigation revealed that the fight started when Juan Solis, 20 year old male from Decatur, became angry when his girlfriend, Kelly Rodriguez and her younger brother, accepted a ride home from Jesus Martinez Cristova and another unidentified Hispanic male from the Red Arrow Bar in Lawrence. Solis was in the driveway waiting at approximately 0530 hours a.m. when Rodriguez arrived at home. At this point, a fist fight broke out between Solis and Cristova leaving two stab wounds on Cristovas back.  Jesus Martinez Cristova was able to identify his attacker, who left the scene prior to police arrival.
     Jesus Martinez Cristova was treated and released from Bronson Lakeview hospital.

Assisting Agencies: Van Buren EMS, Decatur Hamilton Quick Response, Decatur Police Department, Lawton Police Department, and Michigan State Police.
Investigating Deputies:  Deputy Brigham, Deputy Pentland, Deputy Tarner, Deputy Wydick.
Supervisor Contact: Sergeant Wayne Polomcak, 269-657-3101, email

Jul 2010

Complaint #: 5327-10
Incident type:  Minor personal injury crash involving two semi tractor units, temporary closure of I-94
Date and time of crash:  July 21, 2010 at approximately 2:15 am
  I-94 eastbound travel lanes just west of the Decatur exit (M-51 exit 56)
Driver #1:  Juan M. Reyes of Grand Rapids
     Vehicle #1:
2003 International Semi Trailer
Driver #2:  Suberan Shanmugalingam of Ontario
     Vehicle #2:
  2000 Freightliner semi trailer

Information:  Sheriff Dale R. Gribler reports that deputies were called to a report of two, semi tractor trailer units that had crashed on I-94 near the Decatur exit (M-41 exit 56). 
      Emergency responders on scene noted two severely damaged semi tractor trailer units, which had blocked both eastbound travel lanes in this area as a result of this crash.  Deputies noted also material from both trailers from these units involved had scattered all over the roadway and surrounding area as well. 
     Through investigation it was determined that one of the semis, the 2000 Freightliner was broke down on the side of the roadway when a second semi 2003 International, driven by Juan Reyes out of Grand Rapids, sideswiped the broken down semi. During this collision, the trailer of vehicle #1 was torn open, spilling its cargo over both lanes of eastbound 94m causing the freeway to be shut down for several hours.
     Driver #1 was found to be at fault for failing to maintain lane-improper lane use. 
     I-94 eastbound travel lanes were diverted from this area on emergency routes, as crews cleaned up the debris, allowing traffic to again travel freely.  The highway was fully reopened at 7:10 am this morning.

Investigating Deputies:  Deputy Charon 657-3101 ext 3809, Deputy Davis, and Sgt. Scott Schmitt
Contact Person:  On duty Sergeant or Lt. Bob Kirk at 269-657-3101 email

Photos:  P1010002  7-21-10 5327-10.JPG  P1010004  7-21-10 5327-10.JPG  P1010020  7-21-10 5327-10.JPG

Jun 2010

May 2010

Apr 2010

Incident No:  800078-10
Incident Type:
 Search Warrant for Operating-Maintaining Clandestine Methamphetamine Lab, Possession of Meth with intent to deliver and Probation Violation.
Date and Time: April 16, 2010 at 9:00 a.m.  Clear 4:00 p.m.
Location:  80545 39th Street, Decatur Township, Van Buren County.
Suspects Arrested: 
     1.  A 34 yr old male from Decatur, MI. Name being withheld pending arraignment Monday.
    Pending Charges:  Operate-Maintain Lab involving Meth & Hazardous waste,
Possession of Meth with intent to deliver.  
     2.  Angella McConnell, age 30 from Coloma Michigan.
Charges:  Violation of Probation out of 2nd Circuit Court of Berrien Co., $10,000 bond.  

Information:  Sheriff Dale R. Gribler reports the Van Buren County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Unit received a tip as to the location of McConnell, who was wanted on an outstanding Probation Violation warrant, original charge was possession of methamphetamine. The tip also indicated that meth manufacturing was also taking place at the address above.
      Narcotics Detectives went to the above location to conduct an investigation into the meth manufacturing and the arrest of McConnell. The detectives made contact with the 34 year old male who gave consent to look for McConnell within the residence. McConnell was not located in this residence, however meth components were observed. Detectives secured the residence and obtained a search warrant for this residence and a mobile home at the same location, after officers observing McConnell in this mobile home. 
     Executing the search warrant at the residence and mobile home, McConnell was taken into custody without incident. A search was conducted in the residence with an active meth lab being located along with numerous reaction vessels and finished meth that was packaged for sale. Also during the search components-chemicals were used or necessary to manufacture meth was seized, along with firearms. 
     Both subjects were lodged in the Van Buren County Jail.

     The DEA out of Grand Rapids was called for clean up.  Drug & Lab Disposal out of Plainwell was dispatched to the scene for the hazardous waste clean-up.
     Children’s Protective Services were also called to the scene as two children were residing in the residence were the manufacturing of meth was taking place.

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.

Assisting Agencies:  Van Buren County Uniform Response Division, DEA, Grand Rapids Michigan Drug & Lab Disposal.
Investigating Officers:  Van Buren County Narcotics Unit.
Supervisor Contact:  Bryan R. Stump, D/Lieutenant, Van Buren County Sheriff's Office Narcotic's & Investigative Divisions, (269) 657-7711 ext 208 Office, (269) 657-8296 West Office, email.

Mar 2010Roger Dale Eaves

Incident No:  09-7256.
Incident Type: CSC 1st Degree.
Date and Time:  March 16, 2010 at 10:00 am.
Location:   A residence in Decatur Township.
Suspect:  Roger Dale Eaves, 66 year old Decatur Township man.
Suspect Vehicle Information:  N/A. 
Stolen:  N/A.
Victim Information:  47 year old Decatur Township woman.    

Information:  Sheriff Dale R. Gribler reports that on September 18, 2009, Van Buren County Sheriff’s Deputies and Detectives investigated a complaint of Criminal Sexual Conduct in which Eaves was the suspect.
     Upon completion of the investigation the Van Buren County Prosecutors office did charge two counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct on Roger Dale Eaves. Roger dale Eaves was taken in to custody by Van Buren County Sheriff’s Deputies on March 16, 2010 and transported to the Van Buren County Jail where he was lodged. Eaves was arraigned on March 16, 2010 in the 7th District Court Paw Paw on the charges with a $50,000 bond set. Roger Dale Eaves did know his victim.
     Criminal Sexual Conduct 1st Degree carries a penalty of Life or any certain Years in States Prison.

Investigating Officer:  Deputy Lauren Tarner, Detective Sergeant Thomas Macyauski.
Supervisor Contact:   D/Lt. Bryan Stump and or Lt. William Lux, email, (269)-657-7711.

Feb 2010

Incident number:  940-10
Incident Date and Time:  February 10, 2010, 12:00 a.m. midnight.
Incident type:
  Snowmobile crash resulting in injury.
Injuries:  The driver sustained a broken wrist.
Driver:  Roxanne Hanson, a 32 year old female from Kalamazoo.
Vehicle: 2002 Yamaha snowmobile.
Location: Old Swamp Rd in Decatur Twp.
Speed: Speed did appear to be a factor in this crash.
Helmet:  Roxanne was wearing her helmet at the time of the crash.

Information:   Sheriff Dale Gribler reports that Deputies were dispatched to Lakeview Hospital to meet with a female that was involved in a snowmobile accident.
     Deputies were advised by Roxanne that she was driving from Keeler area on the Van Buren Snowmobile trail to Lawton when she lost control. Roxanne stated that she has only ridden a snowmobile three times in the past and was trying to keep up with friends who where experienced. Roxanne stated that the person she was following turned to the left and she was unable to make the turn.
     Roxanne advised that she was towed by friends to Old Swamp Rd where she was picked up and transported to the hospital.

Investigating Officers:  Deputy Casey Davis, Deputy Travis Bernatche.
Contact Information:   On duty sergeant or Lt William Lux at 269-657-3101 email.

Jan 2010

Dec 2009

Incident #:  803004-09
Date and  Time:  December 11, 2009 at approx. 10:00 a.m.Brian Abbott
Incident Type: Warrant Arrest, Meth Lab, Meth Possession
Location:  79400 39th St, Decatur Twp.
Arrested:  Brian Abbott 36 year old from Decatur.
Operate-Maintain Meth Lab, Possession of Meth.
Warrant Information:   (1) Felony warrant out of Michigan Dept of Corrections for Parole Absconder  (2) Misdemeanor warrants for Child Support out of Van Buren Co.
Additional Suspects:  34 year old female, Decatur, MI (homeowner).
Operate-Maintain Meth Lab, Possession of Meth.
                     (Charges to be sought at a later date)

Information:   Sheriff Dale R. Gribler reports the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit received information from Children’s Protective Services in regards to the location of a subject who absconded. 
     Narcotics detectives along with deputies from the Uniform Response Division went to the address on 39th Street.  Deputies made contact with the homeowner and asked her if Abbott was at the residence.  While officers were talking with the homeowner, narcotics detectives went to a camper trailer on the property.  When detectives approached the camper, detectives had noticed a chemical smell of what was believed to be a meth lab.  Detectives knocked on the camper door and heard movement inside.  After a couple of minutes, the subject came to the door.  When the door opened, detectives again smelled a chemical odor coming from within the trailer.  The subject identified himself as being Brian Abbott.  Abbott was taken into custody without incident. 
     A search of the trailer was conducted and several glass jars with suspected methamphetamine were found inside.  These jars where in the process of being gassed, just prior to Abbott answering the door.  Also located inside the camper were four reaction vessels, which were inside the refrigerator/freezer next to the pop and ice cream, two gas generators, camp fuel, peeled lithium batteries, coffee filters and processing equipment, along with chemicals, which are all used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine. 
     The homeowner was found to be in possession of approximately 2 grams of finished methamphetamine.
     CPS was on scene as part of the joint investigation into meth production with children present. Several small children were inside the residence.  CPS placed the children with other family members. 
     This incident remains under investigation, once completed and crime lab analysis received, the report will be forwarded to the VBC Prosecutors office for review, requesting criminal charges of manufacturing methamphetamine and possession of meth on the homeowner. 
      Abbott was transported to the VBC Jail and lodged.

     The DEA, Grand Rapids was contacted for hazardous waste cleanup.  Drug & Laboratory Disposal out of Plainwell responded to the scene for the collection of hazardous waste.

     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.

Assisting Agencies:  Van Buren County Uniform Response Division, CPS, DEA, Grand Rapids, Drug & Lab Disposal.
Investigating Detectives:  Van Buren County Narcotics Unit.
Supervisor Contact:   Bryan R. Stump D/Lt., Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit, 205 S. Kalamazoo St., Paw Paw, MI 49079, Phone (269) 657-3101 Ext 208, Fax (269) 657-5161, email

Nov 2009

Complaint Number:  8675-09
Incident Type:  Personal Injury Traffic Crash
Date and Time:  November 7, 2009 at approx. 12:20 a.m.
Location:  88th Avenue east of CR 669, Decatur Township, Van Buren County
Driver:  Lorraine Monica Stanek, 50 year old out of Marcellus.
Vehicle:  2004 Chevy Venture.

Injuries:  Head injuries.

Hospital:  Bronson Hospital Kalamazoo.

INFORMATION:   Sheriff Dale R. Gribler reports that shortly after midnight, 11/7/2009, Deputies from the Van Buren County Sheriff's Office responded to a reported roll-over accident located in the 34000 Block of 88th Avenue in Decatur Township.
     Upon arriving on scene, Deputies found a Gray 2004 Chevrolet Venture passenger vehicle lying on its roof, just off the north edge of the roadway.  The fifty year old female driver was trapped in the vehicle and suffering from numerous head injuries.  The driver was extricated from the vehicle by personnel from Van Buren Emergency Medical Services and Decatur-Hamilton Fire Department. 
     The driver was then transported to Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo MI by Van Buren EMS for treatment of her injuries.
     The driver reported to officers that she had been eastbound on 88th Avenue when a deer jumped onto the roadway.  The driver advised that she swerved to the left, lost control, ran off the roadway onto the steep embankment, where the vehicle struck a tree, spun to the right, and rolled onto its roof.
     The victim was wearing a seatbelt and shoulder strap.  Speed was a factor in the accident, it is unknown if alcohol is a factor. 
     The accident remains under investigation.

Investigating Officers:  Deputy Mark Stickels and Sgt. Dennis Harvey.
Assisting Agencies:  Decatur Police Dept., Decatur Fire Dept., Van Buren EMS.
Contact Person:  On duty supervisor at 657-3101.

Oct 2009

Incident Number:   8024-09
Incident Type:    Motor Home Fire, Methamphetamine Lab
Date and Time:  October 16, 2009 at 10:16
Location Of Incident:   83000 block of Rogers Street, Decatur MI, Decatur Township Van Buren County.
Victim/Suspect:  Levi Newcomb, 22 year old Lawton, Porter Township resident.
Injuries:   Numerous Burns on chest, back, face, arms.
Hospital:  Bronson Hospital, Kalamazoo Michigan. 

Information:  Sheriff Dale R Gribler reports that Deputies were dispatched to the 83000 Block of Rogers Street for a male subject who had been severely burned.
     Deputies and Detectives from the Van Buren County Sheriff's Office found the male subject, identified as Levi Newcomb, to have multiple burns to the upper torso and face. Newcomb was flown by Air Care helicopter to Bronson Hospital from the scene.
     Deputies noted that the burn victim had been in a motor home which had caught fire.  The Michigan State Police Fire Marshall, Scott Leroy, was called to the scene and further investigation revealed a Meth Lab was present in this motor home at the time of the fire.
     During the cleanup process, one of the reaction vessels recovered from the scene burst into flames which was put out by deputies on scene.  A Methamphetamine clean up team was called to clean up the hazardous waste.
     Van Buren County Sheriff Narcotics Detectives continue to investigate. The origin and cause of the fire will be determined by the State Fire Marshall.

Assisting Agencies:  Decatur Fire Department, Decatur Quick Response, Van Buren Emergency Medical Ambulance Service, Decatur Police Department, West Michigan Air Care, and the Michigan State Police Fire Marshall Division.
Investigating Officers:  K9 Deputy Tony Evans email  and Detective Daniel Perkins email.
Supervisor Contact:  Please contact the on duty supervisor at 269-657-3101.

Photos:  meth lab 001.jpg     meth lab 006.jpg    meth lab 007.jpg

Sep 2009

Incident #: 7014-09
Incident Type:  Resisting and Obstructing Police, Friend of the Court Warrant Arrest, Malicious Destruction of Police Property, Obstruction of Justice.
Date and Time: September 11, 2009 at 0907 hrs
Location:  39000 block of Burgess Rd, Decatur Twp, Van Buren County
Suspect info:
     1. Tony Kirby, 46 year old Decatur man (lodged in the county jail for resisting arresting/FOC warrant)
     2. 70 year old male of Decatur (name withheld pending arraignment) lodged in the county jail for Obstructing Police and Damage to Police Property.

Information:  Sheriff Dale Gribler reports that deputies proceed to a residence in the 39000 block of Burgess road in attempts to arrest a Tony Kirby on an outstanding FOC warrant. 
     Upon officers arrival at this home, two male subjects outside this residence were contacted by deputies and asked if Kirby was at the home.  They stated he was inside.  As these subjects turned to go, as to what they said to officers to go and get Kirby, they both fled on foot into an open field where he was pursued by deputies.  Kirby, after running approximately 150 yards, was discovered hiding in the tall grass. While deputies came close to his hiding spot, he stood up and began running again towards Burgess Rd.  Kirby was pursued down the middle of Burgess Road and was physically taken to the ground where he continued to resist arrest. 
     Kirby was handcuffed, but still continued to resist custody.  While deputies were in the process of securing Kirby, a 70 year old male at the Kirby home got into a pickup truck. This subject proceeded to then ram and push the Van Buren County Patrol unit backwards, bumper-to-bumper, approximately 50 feet.  Minor damage was done to the Van Buren County vehicle.
     Once more officers arrived on scene, the man was questioned and denied having contact with the Van Buren County vehicle.  He did admit to driving his vehicle from the driveway out onto the roadway then back into the yard. 
     Evidence was collected at the scene confirming the collision of these two vehicles.  The 70 year old man then continued to provide false information as to his identity.  He did drop a card out of his wallet onto the ground identifying him as someone else. This subject was also arrested.
     Both are lodged at the Van Buren County jail on the listed charges above.

Arresting Officers:  Deputy Kyle Romeo and Marcus Hamre

Assisting Officers:  Sgt David Walker, Van Buren County Sheriffs Office and Officer Tom Daulquist of Decatur Police Dept.
Supervisor Contact:  Lt Lux or the on duty Sergeant 269 657-3101

Aug 2009

Incident #:  6634-09
Incident Type:  Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Deliver, Resisting and Obstructing a Police Officer.
Date and Time:  August 30, 2009 at 0042 a.m.
Location: 39th St near Burgess Rd. Decatur Twp.
Arrested:  44 year old male from Decatur
Vehicle:  1992 Cadillac Deville registered to driver.

 Sheriff Dale Gribler reports that Deputies stopped a vehicle in Decatur Twp. for several traffic violations and made contact with the driver.
     The driver appeared to be nervous along with his female pa
ssenger. The female passenger was asked to step out of the vehicle where she was interviewed. She could not tell Deputies the drivers name and could not tell where she was heading. The driver was interview by Deputies and could not tell Deputies the passengers name.
     When Deputies where talking to the driver, Deputies noticed a small amount of Marijuana in the front seat. Both occupants where interview on the Marijuana.  The female stated she was picked up by the male and was asked if she would have sex with men in a Migrant camp for money. She also advised that there was a large quantity of Marijuana inside the car that the male suspect was taking to Paw Paw to sell. Deputies located an ounce of Marijuana next to the vehicle where the male suspect tried to hide it. When Deputies attempted to place the male suspect into custody, he attempted to pull away from officers several times and had to be taken to the ground to prevent officer injury.
     The suspect was taken into custody and lodged at Van Buren County Jail. The male suspect had three prior charges of Delivery of a controlled substance. The female passenger was released on scene.

Investigating officers: Deputy Casey Davis EX835, Deputy Greg Pentland EX822, Deputy Travis Bernatche EX831
Supervisor Contact: On Duty Supervisor 269-657-3101

Jul 2009

Incident #:  5580-09.
Incident Type:   Disorderly conduct arrest.
Date and Time:  Numerous complaints made between July 23, 2009 and July 31, 2009.
Location:  Numerous locations throughout Decatur Township.
Suspect:   49 year old Decatur woman (name withheld pending arraignment).

Information:   Sheriff Dale R. Gribler reports that Van Buren County Sheriff Deputies investigated complaints from Decatur Township residents of a female subject, believed to be around 50 years of age, going door to door begging for money to buy cigarettes.  The female subject was told by several persons that, “no they did not have money to give.”  The female suspect did this type of activity on several occasions, most times at the same homes she was told no before.  Law enforcement officers discovered that the female subject resided in the general area to where she was warned by police about possible criminal action if she continues to do beg for money.  Officers proceeded to her home to again make contact with this subject on continued complaints from area residents.  Deputies gave yet another warning for her to stop begging for money, and that the report of these such incidents are being forwarded to the county prosecutor’s office for review.  As the Sheriff Deputy was leaving, the female suspect stopped the officer and asked to talk.  The suspect then asked the deputy to lend her money for cigarettes to which she was told this is what she was just warned for.  The suspect began attempts of bargaining for different amounts to which she was taken into custody for being a disorderly person.

Investigating Deputies:  Sergeant David Walker.
Contact persons:  On duty Sergeant or Operations Lt William Lux 269-657-3101.

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