Greenville man charged in police hit-and-run

By Daily News • Last Updated 2:39 pm on Monday, November 14, 2011

Mitchell Byrne

STANTON — Mitchell Byrne allegedly crashed into a Greenville Department of Public Safety police cruiser, then fled the scene, leaving an officer unconscious early Sunday morning.
The 24-year-old man was arraigned Tuesday afternoon in 64B District Court. He is charged with reckless driving and leaving the scene of a personal injury accident.
“Do you feel you were driving in a reckless manner?” Magistrate Kim Miller asked Byrne in a video arraignment.
“No sir,” Byrne replied.
Miller entered a not guilty plea on Byrne’s behalf and allowed him out of jail on a $1,500 bond if Byrne’s parents signed for him. Byrne told Miller he lives with his parents in Greenville and works at MCC Squared Painting in Grand Haven.
Leaving the scene of a personal injury accident is a misdemeanor with a penalty of up to one year in prison, according to Montcalm County Prosecutor Andrea Krause. Reckless driving is a misdemeanor with a penalty of up to 93 days jail.
Officers from the Greenville Department of Public Safety (GDPS) responded to an assault complaint near the 700 block of South Lafayette Street early Sunday morning.
Officer Sean Parsons, who responded as a back-up, had just stopped in front of the residence, activated his emergency warning lights and was preparing to exit his patrol car when his car was struck from behind by a 2004 Toyota 4Runner.
The impact sent Parsons and his police cruiser up and over the curb and a telephone switching box. Officer Mark Cole rendered aid to Parsons, who was knocked unconscious for a time.
The force of the impact caused extensive damage to the patrol car and Parsons was transported to Spectrum Health United Hospital in Greenville, where he was treated and later released.
Police believe Byrne was driving the vehicle that injured Parsons. Byrne allegedly fled the scene southbound on M-91.
Montcalm County sheriff’s deputies located the Toyota near the corner of M-91 and Baker Road in Eureka Township. The vehicle sustained significant front end damage and was missing its right front tire.
Byrne was not with the vehicle and appeared to have fled on foot. The sheriff’s K-9 team tracked Byrne to a wooded area before losing the trail.
Byrne turned himself in a GDPS detective Monday afternoon. He was transported to the Montcalm County Jail in Stanton. He will have a pre-trial and preliminary hearing at a later date.

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