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Prison absconder threatens elderly couple with knife near Belding

By Andy Kraft on Tuesday, March 20, 2012

OTISCO TOWNSHIP — A man who absconded from prison entered an elderly couple’s home this morning, threatened them with a knife, assaulted the woman and then fled before being apprehended by police.
Ionia County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a home in the 9000 block of W. Belding Road at about 9:30 a.m. today after a reported attempted armed robbery.
A 26-year-old man allegedly gained access to the home of an elderly couple at about 7:30 a.m., explaining that he was in trouble and needed help, according to Undersheriff Dale Miller. The man’s stories kept changing. First, he told the couple he’d been in a fight, then said he had car trouble.
“They were trying to be nice and help him out,” said Miller of the elderly couple.
After the man had been in the home about two hours, he allegedly took a knife that was in the home and threatened the couple, telling them to give him money. The man allegedly began to assault the elderly woman, but she managed to fight him off. After the altercation, the man fled the home.
The elderly woman was not injured in the altercation.
Various witnesses described seeing the man in the area. The man knocked on the doors of other homes in the neighborhood, but was turned away by the residents.
A perimeter was set up and an Ionia County Sheriff K9 unit was brought in and began to track the suspect in the area where he was last seen. The man was observed by officers fleeing west from the perimeter area. Officers pursued the man west into a wooded swamp. After a foot chase by Ionia County Sheriff’s detectives, the man was apprehended.
Woodview Elementary School on Orchard Street in Belding was placed on lockdown as a precautionary measure.
The man’s name is being withheld pending his arraignment Wednesday on multiple charges. He is believed to be from the Belding or Grand Rapids area and had absconded from prison.
The Belding Police Department and the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post assisted at the scene.
Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact the Ionia County Sheriff Office at (616) 527-5737.

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