A handgun belonging to a Battle Creek man was stolen over the weekend from a Branch County restaurant.
State police in Coldwater said the man left a .380-caliber pistol in a bathroom stall around 7 p.m. Saturday at Bill’s Steak House in Bronson. Within the hour, he realized the oversight and called the restaurant to report the situation. Employees did not find the weapon and the man also failed to locate it when he returned to the business.
The incident was reported to state police around 8 p.m.
Deputies from the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department are investigating an arson last week in Colon Township.
Authorities said a barn in the 33200 Block of East Palmer Lake Road was intentionally set on fire. The structure sustained significant damage, investigators said.
State Police arrested an Indiana woman Sunday following a high-speed chase. The 34-year-old woman is accused of abducting her 5-year-old daughter during a supervised visit. Indiana authorities had contacted police in St. Joseph County after tracking the mother on her cellphone. A State Police trooper found the woman’s vehicle in Mottville Township and tried to arrest her, but she drove off with the child still in the car. During the chase, the mother put the girl in her lap, according to police. Stop sticks were used to blow out the tires and get the car to stop on northbound US-131 just outside Constantine but the suspect kept driving. Police say eventually, one of the vehicle’s tires came off its rim and two tires went flat, and the woman pulled over and tried to flee on foot while holding her daughter. Officers quickly caught up with the woman and arrested her after a brief scuffle. During a search of the vehicle, police found suspected cocaine. The woman is facing charges of fleeing and eluding, possession of narcotics, and resisting and obstructing. She also is facing misdemeanor charges of operating under the influence and child endangerment, according to Michigan State Police. Additional charges in Indiana are pending. The girl was in police custody until family came to pick her up.Names are being withheld. (MRN)
Police agencies in Kalamazoo had their hands full this weekend with a crowd of rowdy Western Michigan University students. Officers were called out to deal with a crowd of about 2,000 students Saturday afternoon. The party goers had been circulating between houses, drinking and celebrating, but authorities say some of them turned violent, fighting and damaging property. Police say that instead of dispersing when they were ordered to, some of the students threw bottles and rocks at officers. Riot officers then used tear gas to clear the streets. No major injuries were reported. (MRN)
An Ottawa County man was found guilty of 16 counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct following a jury trial that concluded last week.
Officials from St. Joseph County Circuit Court said James Zacharko II, 46, of Zeeland, was accused of having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old St. Joseph County girl over a four-month period in 2012.
Over the course of the three-day trial that ended Thursday, Zacharko’s attorney said his client pleaded not guilty and that there was no DNA evidence, photographs or eyewitnesses to verify he and the teen had a sexual relationship.
Zacharko met the teen through a relationship he previously had with an adult related to her. Prosecutor John McDonough, however, indicated Zacharko and the victim were involved in a physical relationship from May to September 2012.
A jury found Zacharko guilty on 16 of 23 counts.
Zacharko faces up to 15 years in prison.
The St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a breaking-and-entering incident in Sherman Township.
Department officials said the suspects forced entry into a residence in the 24000 Block of Mintdale Road between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. last Thursday.
Several items were stolen, including jewelry, a safe, and a 32-inch LCD television.
Meanwhile, officials with the state police said a Fabius Township residence was burglarized between 11:45 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The incident occurred in the 12000 block of M-60, where guns and jewelry were reported stolen.