Grosse Pointe, Harper Woods Police Quell Courtroom Outburst

Five people were arrested Wednesday in Harper Woods District Court following an outburst in the middle of a preliminary exam hearing before Judge Roger A. LaRose among the people in the courtroom gallery.

Officers from the Grosse Pointes assisted Harper Woods police and court staff Wednesday in quelling an outburst that evolved into an altercation in Harper Woods District Court during a preliminary exam in a homicide case.

Harper Woods Police Chief Jim Burke announced the arrests in a community alert Wednesday, explaining the problem arose among those in the gallery. What began as a verbal dispute between the large group of supporters for the victim of the homicide  and the large group of supporters of the accused shooter evolved into a physical altercation that spilled out of the courtroom and into lobby of the police department, according to the alert.

The homicide happened at Eastland Mall in 2010. Harper Woods police had established heavier security for Wednesday's preliminary exam in the courthouse and courtroom, which enabled them to contain most of the people involved in the altercation in the courtroom, according to the alert.

Officers from the Grosse Pointes responded to provide additional help in quelling the crowd and restoring the peace so the hearing could continue. The judge cleared the courtroom and proceeded with the hearing.

Two people sustained minor injuries during the altercation and were treated by the Harper Woods Fire Department. Five people were arrested as a result, according to the alert.

Debbie Parker January 17, 2013 at 02:42 PM
Tanya--I don't see how it is racist to speak the truth, that type of behavior that occurred is Ghetto behavior. It is not something civilized people in a civilized society would do. How is it racist to call out that awful behavior for what it is?? The way people who live in the ghetto want to solve everything with more violence.
Rich Kingston January 17, 2013 at 02:46 PM
Nope, Not racism, but the culture. I grew up in GP moved to Rochester and here we have Pontiac to the west falling apart. We have robberies here in broad daylight! Don't think there is a lot of future in the minds of the folks who are causing the problems. Education, (lack of ) is a major part. I think these folks live for today! They are not worried about the consequences like folks use to. Rich
Bob Frapples January 17, 2013 at 03:04 PM
Racism might be the case if someone were to have mentioned a specific race, but the reference was made toward Detroit residents. The fact that you linked that to imply ALL residents of Detroit are of a certain race clearly shows that you're looking to interject race into a situation where it didn't exist at all. Is ghetto behavior unique to one race? Not that I've noticed.
GP For Life January 17, 2013 at 03:16 PM
If anything it shines a light on Tanya's true view of race given her projections of a perceived race.
Mark January 17, 2013 at 03:37 PM
Agreed. Tanya has discovered a new species apparently. Citizens of Detroit now have their own separate classification in the Animal Kingdom.
Cathy January 17, 2013 at 04:20 PM
I agree with Jason R. I am so sad. My family was forced to move from Detroit (a very beloved neighborhood) in 1970 as our personal safety was threatened daily. We moved to Harper Woods. What a nice place it was. I am SO SAD that the exact same threat to personal safety is happening in HW now. I can't tell you how SAD and DISAPPOINTED and ANGRY this makes me. That a handful of people can cause such terror to so many law-abiding people trying to live a moral/Christian existence -- taking care of our property, taking proper care of our kids, taking care of our neighbors and living the Golden Rule. You're right -- it isn't a race, it's a culture. Whether you are experiencing the influx of Detroiters, the Pontiac tensions, or the gang-like behavior in Sterling Heights -- it is wrong.
Jon January 17, 2013 at 04:26 PM
Has anyone researched the crime rate statistics - for instance, comparing Harper Woods to GP Woods? The differences are staggering. Does anyone listen to the local police radio net?
lifelong January 17, 2013 at 04:57 PM
From 1/15/13 Patch article: Grosse Pointe Farms police arrested the man early Monday after searching his Detroit apartment and recovering at least one GPS stolen in the weekend crimes, Detective Lt. Rich Rosati said. Enough said.
GP For Life January 17, 2013 at 05:17 PM
That might not be the best example to use, but your point is still taken.
Chris K January 17, 2013 at 06:49 PM
Tanya: Where does it say those involved were Detroit residents? Race baiting and race cards stop conversations and mutual solutions. I am glad people on this thread aren't letting that happen. I think you are going to have to try another approach to goad those who post on this thread. Not that I am suggesting YOU have any prejudices or anything like that
Mark January 17, 2013 at 07:09 PM
Probably not the best example since he is a GP native...
Bill IV January 17, 2013 at 08:48 PM
Yeah the guy they arrested, his parents live on Lewiston. He went to GPS, he's a native and likes to steal from the neighbors. He broke into my car two years ago after he was released from prison the first time. Glad he's back. At any rate, Harper Woods has deteriorated because of one reason and one reason only. Too many thugs and kids running wild in that City. I lived there up until six years ago. It turned into a total warzone. When the gang of kids (20 or more) would walk in the middle of the street not letting you pass, that was it for me. Call it what you may, the proof is in the pudding, Tanya.
Denise Gates January 17, 2013 at 08:49 PM
white, black, blue, purple, pink it just doesn't matter. Harper Woods, Detroit, Grosse Pointe it doesn't matter. My daughter grew up in HW, I grew up in GP, she went to school at Central and met someone who murdered her in front of their 4 yr old. It just doesn't matter. But the out pouring starting in Mt Pleasant (since she lived there) all the way down to here was incrediable! I have never seen so much love for someone in my life, white, black, blue, purple, pink it doesn't matter, it was all there
Bradley Coopersmith January 18, 2013 at 01:51 PM
I am going back to my initial proposal for a public indecency act for the Pointes and Harper Woods. If your pants are below your butt then you will be ticketed. I think it would solve safety issues on the streets and in schools. Watch this video and tell me if you think that this would help us target potential criminals? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Epeo8Pfm1xM./. Now you might ask what this has to do with the above comments and article but it will prevent people from carrying weapons (and killing each other at Eastland) and hiding stolen GPS units. Let's stop the problem by making those that are likely to do harm easier to identify. And for any people that think these are racists comment,s the law would apply to black, white, indian and even oompa loompas.
Jon January 18, 2013 at 03:26 PM
I agree 100% with this position, forget about the Grandpa's and target those most likely to be perps.
Joe MacDonald January 18, 2013 at 03:39 PM
River Rat, According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Crime Statistics database (http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/crimestats) and the U.S. Census Bureau (www.census.gov), the 2011 per capita crime rates for Harper Woods and Grosse Pointe Woods were 82.3 crimes per 1,000 residents and 13.9 crimes per 1,000 residents respectively. The 2011 per capita violent crime rates for Harper Woods and Grosse Pointe Woods were 7.3 violent crimes per 1,000 residents and 0.7 violent crime per 1,000 residents respectively. However, please note that since 1985, the highest per capita crime rate for Harper Woods was 142.7 crimes per 1,000 residents in 1988. The highest per capita crime rate for Grosse Pointe Woods was 26.7 crimes per 1,000 residents in 1986. In terms of highest per capita violent crime rates, Harper Woods had 12.1 in 2007; Grosse Pointe Woods had 1.4 in 2010. Joe MacDonald
Bob Frapples January 18, 2013 at 03:47 PM
You really think that people with sagging pants are more likely to be of the criminal element? How about anyone with a hood up on a sweatshirt? Or a t-shirt that seems unusually long. I'm all for calling the police to report those that look suspicious (I have, more than once in the last 12 months) but to ask them to stop everyone with saggy pants seems a bit over the top. This statement just makes you sound like a middle aged white person from Grosse Pointe.
Jon January 18, 2013 at 04:05 PM
I agree with the prior comment "Let's stop the problem by making those that are likely to do harm easier to identify. And for any people that think these are racists comment,s the law would apply to black, white, indian and even oompa loompas.", and I'm proud to say I am a tax payer supporting, without complaint, the tax users.
Todd January 18, 2013 at 04:07 PM
Just goes to show you.... no amount of money will make rotten parents into good parents. At a certain point (we passed long ago) all we do is enable them. Maybe its time for people to learn that "poor" doesn't mean cable-TV, a state credit card and a car? My grandparents knew that starvation was a real conclusion.... and they were better people for it. They never had cable TV or a new car, but they had dignity, family and faith. In that they were great successes.
Bradley Coopersmith January 18, 2013 at 05:06 PM
Bob, Let me know the next time a man in a suit commits an armed robbery in our area. I'll send you a check for $100 and a card saying you were right. Darn right i think the way people dress can be a sign of trouble. NOT ALL PEOPLE IN SAGGING PANTS ARE CRIMINALS but at least it gives us a clue. If the law were to go into effect the worse case scenario is that we would have better dressed criminals. Bob, funny you bring up hoodies, i think both crimes committed at gun point in broad daylight were done by men with hoodies on. There is a correlation, if you dress shady, you are probably up to something shady. We need to give our police the ability to do their jobs. So says the middle aged white man.
GP For Life January 18, 2013 at 06:40 PM
If I may speak for Bob here, what I think he's saying is that there is de jour and de facto ways of doing things, and he'd prefer the de facto way. Or, in my words, pass a law about baggy pants and hoodies and you'll draw a lot of attention and criticism. Then the ACLU comes out and starts crying about everything and next thing you know, we're in a court case. Instead, we just stop and frisk every sketchy looking character as soon as they enter the area, eventually they'll just move on or start dressing nicer. Either way, it's a win.
Benny367 January 18, 2013 at 06:42 PM
Mr. MacDonald references FBI crime statistics (which I have no doubt are accurate), however it must be pointed out that all of the crimes that happen at Eastland mall (and I have no doubt they are numerous) are part of those FBI statistics. Eastland mall gets about 1 million visitors a year! It really doesn't reflect the number of crimes in the actual neighborhoods.
Benny367 January 18, 2013 at 06:49 PM
None of the supporters for the victim of the homicide nor any members of the large group of supporters of the accused shooter are Harper Woods residents. So tell me, how does this reflect poorly on the residents of Harper Woods?
GP For Life January 18, 2013 at 07:05 PM
Benny637, because the crime that preceded the subsequent criminal hearing occurred in Harper Woods. Then at the hearing, a fight breaks out that their police force couldn't contain and had to be backed up by GPW cops. I don't know, I could be wrong, but that's how I would look at it.
Denise Gates January 18, 2013 at 07:53 PM
If it walks, talks and looks like a rat, it probably is a rat
Jon January 18, 2013 at 09:48 PM
Joe, good statistics. I can't put my hand on them right now but I have crime numbers going back to the early 60's, and at that time all the GP's and HW were all about the same, serious deterioration ever since. Members of my family happily lived in HW until it began to slide. And yes, Eastland is a big part of those stats today but if you spent a few hours listening to the radio calls out of HW you would know that there is a section of HW that is really struggling with teen and adult violence of all kinds.
Teri January 19, 2013 at 05:09 AM
Well truth b told no one or no neighborhood is safe now days. Black or white we all hv r fair share of uncivilized individuals.
Bob Frapples January 19, 2013 at 03:05 PM
Yes GP4L, sketchy doesn't have a uniform. Sometimes a person or group of people just look out of place regardless of their clothing. Think the 55 year old guy that broke into the Treasure Trove at four in the morning had his sag on?
Denise Gates January 20, 2013 at 01:05 AM
That's all good, but there is a part of every city that struggles with teen and adult violence of all kinds.
Todd January 21, 2013 at 02:37 PM
Yeah, every community has a 60 minutes special about it every 10 years. Good point.


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