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Sheriff Reports  -  Hamilton Township, MI


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Jan 2011

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Sep 2010

Update On News Release and Amber Alert: 
Original Incident No: 7113-10

On 9-21-10 at approximately 9:30 a.m. information was received on the possible location of Tristina Azure Wilkins 4 year old Missing Endangered Child/ Parental kidnapping from the 51,000 Block M-51, Decatur, Michigan Van Buren County.  
     The child was taken from her home by her father Matthew Tackett and his wife Jennifer Tackett yesterday evening. Detectives and Deputies from the VBC Sheriff’s Office, working in conjunction with the FBI , Cass County Sheriff’s Office and Edwardsburg P.D., followed up on leads received from tips on possible locations of Tristina Wilkins whereabouts.  Authorities went to an address in the 31,000 Block of Worrell Street in Milton Township, Cass County, where Tristina Wilkins was found unharmed along with Matthew and Jennifer Tackett.
     Tristina was turned over to Child Protective Services and Matthew and Jennifer Tackett were taken into custody on other outstanding warrants.
     The complaint of Parental Kidnapping is still under Investigation.

Contact:  D/Sgt. Thomas Macyauski, 269-657-7711, email

Incident #:  7113-10
Incident Type:  Parental Kidnapping
Date & Time of Incident: September 20, 2010 at approximately 8:30 p.m.
Location of Incident:  51000 block of M-51, Decatur, Hamilton Township
Suspect Information:

     1.  Matthew David Tackett, a 31 year old white male, 5’10” tall and weighs approximately 175 lbs.  Matthew has blue eyes, is bald and has a long goatee. He is currently has a felony-warrant out of Van Buren County for firearms-related charges.
     2.  Jennifer Ann Tackett (also uses Jennifer Anne Kelley).  Jennifer is 36 year old white female, 5’06” tall and approximately 145 lbs.  Jennifer has brown eyes and brown hair.  Jennifer currently has a warrant out of Van Buren County for a Probation Violation.

 Tristina Azure Wilkins, a 4 year old white female. She has blond hair that extends past her shoulders with blue eyes.  Tristina was last seen wearing a red t-shirt with purple shorts and no shoes.  She is 3’0” tall and weighs 64 lbs.
Vehicle: The suspects were last seen in a 1998 Ford Escort, black in color.  The Escort was described as having damage to the rear driver’s side fender.  The vehicle bears Michigan registration BWG2534.  

Narrative:  Sheriff Dale R. Gribler reports that Deputies were contacted in reference to a parental kidnapping at approximately11:30 p.m. 
     Four year old, Tristina Azure Wilkins, was taken from her court-ordered placement in Decatur by her biological father, Matthew David Tackett.  Tackett’s parental rights are currently suspended and Wilkins is under the custody of the State of Michigan.  Wilkins was taken from her grandparents’ residence in the 51000 block of M-51 in Hamilton Township.  At approximately 8:30 p.m.,
Tackett and his current wife, Jennifer, showed up at the residence to retrieve property they had stored there. The Tacketts took Tristina and left through a rear window at the residence.
     The Tacketts were last seen driving a black 1998 Ford Escort 4-door.  The vehicle bears Michigan registration BWG2534 and has damage to the rear driver’s side fender.  It is unknown where the suspects are heading or who they are traveling with.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Van Buren Central Dispatch at 269-657-3101 or Submit Silent Observer tips here or call 866-774-2345.

Investigating Officer:  Deputy Travis Bernatche, Deputy Jim Charon, Sgt. Scott Schmitt
Contact Person:
Sgt Scott Schmitt (269) 657-3101, e-mail, or Lt. Bob Kirk at 269-657- 3101 ext. 3851, email
Wilkins, Tristina Azure 9-21-2010.JPG   wilkins2-tacket 9-21-2010.JPG

The first photograph is of Wilkins which was taken a week ago.  The second is of Wilkins with Jennifer and Matthew Tackett.

Report #:  7058-10
Incident Type:  1 Car Rollover Personal Injury Crash, Operating While Intoxicated-1st Offense, and Driving While License Suspended-2nd Offense Arrest
Date-Time:  2123 hrs, Saturday 9/18/2010
Location:  94000blk of M-51, Hamilton Twp
Vehicle Involved:  Blue 1995 Ford Escort Wagon
river-Suspect: 40 year old Male out of Dowagiac, MI (Name withheld pending arraignment).
Injuries to Driver:
  Minor lacerations and abrasions to both forearms
 Alcohol was a factor in this incident
Law Enforcement Action Taken:  The driver was arrested and cited for OWI-1st and DWLS-2nd.  Driver was lodged at the Van Buren County Jail.

Information: Sheriff Dale R. Gribler reports that deputies were dispatched to a one car rollover accident at M-51 and CR687 called in by a Trues wrecker service. 
     Responding deputies arrived and made contact with the driver, True's wrecker drivers and Cass Co Deputies were already on scene.  The driver advised that he had swerved to avoid a deer and lost control of his vehicle. The vehicle rolled over after going off the east side of the roadway. 
     Deputies found the driver to be highly intoxicated, and he was a .19
BAC when given a Preliminary Breath Test.  Deputies also discovered that he was not valid to drive, and had a lengthy driving record.  
     The driver was treated by members of Decatur/Hamilton QR and Van Buren EMS at the scene, and refused transport to the hospital.

Investigating Officer:  Deputy Raymond W. Hochsprung
Assisting Agencies:
 Cass County Sheriff's Office, Decatur/Hamilton Township Quick Response, and Van Buren Emergency Medical Services
Supervisor Contact:
  Please contact the on duty Sgt. at (269) 657-3101 or Operations Lt. Robert Kirk,(269) 657-2006, email

Jan 2010

Sep 2009

Incident type: Aggravated Assault, Warrant arrests
Date and time: Friday, September 11, 2009 at 0750hrs
Location: 56th Street, south of 92nd Avenue, Hamilton Township
Incident #: 7010-09
Suspect #1: Hernandez, Roque H/M 06-13-1979, Berrybrook camp-56th Street, Lot 23, Decatur, MI
Suspect #2: Deleon, Raul H/M 10-16-1979, Berrybrook camp-56th Street, Lot 9, Decatur, MI
Victim: H/M 53 year old adult from Berrybrook camp-56th Street. Sustained injury to face and head.
Alcohol: Alcohol was a factor.

INFORMATION:  Sheriff Dale R. Gribler reports an aggravated assault on 56th Street in Hamilton Township. 
     The victim of this assault states he and three other subjects had been drinking at a migrant camp on 56th Street south of 92nd Avenue in Hamilton Township. These four subjects then departed looking for alcohol, and upon returning to the camp, an assault took place where the victim remembered being punched and kicked until unconscious. This assault took place sometime after 0100hrs on September 11, 2009.  The victim awoke in a bean field near the camp sometime after 6am. The victim noticed that his wallet was missing. A call was placed to Central Dispatch at about 0750hrs requesting police assistance.
     The victim was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital in Dowagiac by private vehicle. He was treated and released.
     Suspects were later located and apprehended in the Decatur area by members of the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office Narcotic’s Unit. After obtaining statements, two of the three suspects were lodged on outstanding warrants, as well as a charge of Aggravated Assault. 
     Further charges maybe authorized by the county prosecutor’s office upon review of this departments investigative report into this incident.

Investigating Officer: Deputy Rich Wallace 269-657-3101 ext 812
Supervisor Contact: On duty sergeant or Operations Lt William Lux at 269-657-3101

Jun 2009

 Private property ATV crash involving injury
DATE AND TIME:   Monday June 15, 2009 at approximately 1:56 pm
LOCATION:  Farm Field in the of 79000 block C.R. 681
DRIVER: 61 year old male from Decatur area
VEHICLE:  1997 Honda Foreman 4 Wheeler, green in color
INJURIES:  Possible neck injuries, unknown further at this time


Sheriff Dale R. Gribler reports that on Monday June 15, 2009 at approximately 1:56 pm Van Buren County Central Dispatch received a 911 call reporting that a male subject was operating an ATV in a soybean field in the 79,000 block of County Road 681, Hamilton Township, when the ATV rolled, throwing the male subject off the ATV.  The ATV landed on the subject, causing possible neck injuries.  The subject was treated by VBEMS and Coloma EMS on scene, then transported to Bronson Hospital by VBEMS.  The subject was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

INVESTIGATING DEPUTY:     K9 Deputy Kevin VanBrussel
  Sergeant Scott Schmitt (269) 657-3101 ext. 801

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May 2009

Incident Type:   OWI Crash
Date and Time:   May 17, 2009 at 3:48 AM
46000 Block of CR358 in Hamilton Township.
Incident #: 3496-09.
Driver: 19 year old Paw Paw man. Name withheld pending arraignment.
Injuries to Driver: The driver did not complain of any injuries, although he was checked for injuries by VBEMS.
Vehicle: 1992 Ford Taurus. Alcohol appeared to be a factor in the accident.

Sheriff Dale R. Gribler reports that Deputies were dispatched to a one car unknown crash on CR352 in the 46000 block in Hamilton Township. Upon arrival, it was found that the driver was traveling westbound on CR352 and left the traveled portion of the roadway. The driver appeared to have overcorrected the vehicle, and then crashed into a telephone pole. This snapped the telephone pole at its base and caused the power/telephone lines to fall down. The vehicle had severe front end damage from the collision and spun out approximately 100 yards away from the pole. The driver refused any medical treatment and stated that he was uninjured. He was subsequently arrested for Operating While Intoxicated. The report has been sent to the Prosecutors office and is closed at this time.

Investigating Deputies:  Deputy Stolsonburg and Deputy Konkle.
Assisting Agencies: VBEMS, Decatur Fire and Ambulance, Decatur Police, C&F Towing, AEP power.
Supervisor Contact: Sgt. Dennis Harvey (269-657-3101 Ext. 811)

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