Rise in police chases leads Warren chief to call for harsher penalties for fleeing

WARREN, Mich. (FOX 2) - They’re happening more and more - police chases across Metro Detroit are forcing officers to make split-second decisions on both catching a suspect and reducing the risk of harm to the general public.

"Most jurisdictions don’t even chase these people anymore because there’s no teeth in the law," said Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer.

Dwyer says he’s had enough, and wants stiffer penalties for those who try to get away from the cops.

"You have to have mandatory, two years. That’s the only way you are going to cut down on the pursuits," he said. "Even the state police has a new policy that I understand, that they won’t even pursue a stolen vehicle. And I know for a fact that most departments don’t pursue whatsoever."

Last week Warren police had nearly four pursuits in 24 hours. One of them leading to the arrest of 26-year-old Michael Antonio Adkins of Detroit.

Police say that’s him in dash cam video smashing into cars and backing into a police cruiser while trying to get away on I-94 last Thursday.

"The average pursuit is about two to three miles max for us. That pursuit for us was over 10 miles but it was monitored in live time by the supervisor here. And also the supervisor was in touch with the officers involved in the pursuit, so it was a safe pursuit."

Officers even rescued a couple in a truck as the suspect tried to drive off. An officer shot him in the shoulder while getting the situation under control.

"There’s 18 various counts there from last week on this particular person," Dwyer said.

Including 13 counts of assault with a dangerous weapon slash felonious assault.

Related: Suspect arraigned after being wounded in officer-involved-shooting, ramming police cars

Warren investigators say he had 19 traffic warrants for his arrest at the time, no driver’s license and previous felony convictions for cocaine and heroin delivery along with evading arrest.

"He’s got a violent criminal history there," Dwyer said. "And he was wanted in a warrant, and there’s a number of reasons why he fled and the reason he continued to flee. Now if we would have terminated (the chase) I’m sure he would have went out and committed another violent crime."