Oakland sheriff’s deputy drove drunk, fled officers, police say

Rochester Hills— An off-duty Oakland County Sheriff’s deputy charged with drunken driving and fleeing and eluding police over the weekend had a blood-alcohol level of .29 — more than three times the legal limit for motorists, according to a police report released Tuesday.

Michael Daves, 50, was arraigned Tuesday before Rochester Hills District Judge Julie Nicholson on charges of operating while intoxicated-second offense and fleeing and eluding. He was released on $5,000 personal bond pending a pre-exam conference next Tuesday.

Daves, assigned to the sheriff’s Pontiac substation, has been suspended from the sheriff’s office pending the outcome of the case. The sheriff’s office said Daves was off-duty and driving his own vehicle during the incident.

Police said Daves was pulled over in his 2011 Jeep about 12:30 p.m. Sunday after a four-mile pursuit, according to authorities. During the chase, he was spotted swerving near several cars and a tree, and just missed striking a jogger who had to leap out of the way, according to witness statements. No one was injured.

When Daves finally pulled over, he is believed to have changed out of his deputy uniform and into blue jeans, a white T-shirt and blue University of Michigan pullover, according to the police report. He was taken into custody without further incident.

According to a police report released Tuesday, a brown paper bag with an empty Smirnoff’s vodka bottle inside it was found in the Jeep.

Lake Orion police have interviewed three witnesses, including one who followed the Jeep south on M-24 from Oakwood Road to downtown Oxford. There, Daves allegedly nearly struck several vehicles and the jogger.

Two other witnesses, who were in a separate vehicle, also reported the erratic driving and followed the Jeep into a subdivision, where it parked for several minutes before continuing on.

Lake Orion police Officer Zachary Lemond responded and was questioning a witness when the Jeep reappeared. The vehicle sped off when the officer tried to stop it.

The officer activated his overhead lights and siren on Cross Timbers Street just two car lengths behind the Jeep.

Daves finally pulled the Jeep over after Lemond activated his public address speaker and instructed Daves to pull to the right shoulder of the road and stop. But the Jeep took off again after Lemond exited his patrol car.

Daves was instructed to turn off the Jeep and drop the keys out the window, according to the police report. After several orders, he complied and stepped out of the Jeep, the report said.

“The driver seemed confused during these instructions, appeared to mumble to me and failed to turn around or get on the ground after being instructed to do so several times,” wrote Lemond in the report. “I approached the driver and used his left arm to take him down to the ground. I then searched and handcuffed the individual before putting him in the back of my patrol vehicle.”

Daves was staggering and swaying but was “apologetic and cooperative” after being handcuffed, Lemond wrote. He reported the deputy smelled of intoxicants, had watery eyes and was “sleepy looking.”

Through slurred speech, Daves mumbled he was diabetic but he was not having a diabetic episode and did not need medical attention.

Daves agreed to a preliminary breath test but “did not make a satisfactory blow into the device” and “appeared to be attempting to circumvent the test,” according to the police report.

Through saliva retested at the station, it was determined Daves had a .258 blood-alcohol level but in a subsequent DataMaster breath test at the station, the results were even higher — .29 and .28 — according to the police report.

Because his badge, handgun and uniform were not inside the Jeep, the officer theorized Daves “quickly changed clothes and stashed his uniform, badge and possibly a gun belt in an undisclosed location as to avoid detection.”

No such discarded clothing or property has been recovered by Lake Orion police.

via Detroit News

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