Detroit firefighter on probation after altercation with Livonia police

- A Detroit firefighter involved in an incident with Livonia police was sentenced to probation on disorderly conduct charges while he was originally charged with assaulting a police officer.

On June 28, police were called to Hubbard Street in Livonia after Detroit firefighter Michael Cretu got into an argument with his neighbor, who accused him of tossing cigarette butts into his neighbor's flowers.

Livonia police body cam footage shows officers questioning Cretu, who claims he didn't do anything.

"The guy's a nut. He's talking about cigarette butts. I haven't thrown anything into his garbage," Cretu can be heard saying in the video.

The video then shows Cretu apparently whistling and trying to call his dog. He steps forward and one of the Livonia officers places a hand on Cretu's chest, saying "Hold on."

That's when tensions rose, and Cretu grabbed the officer's wrist.

"When he grabbed the officer's wrist and they told him that he was going to be placed under arrest and ended up taking him to the ground, he should have complied," said Livonia Police Capt. Robert Nenciarini.

Cretu was charged with two counts of assaulting a police officer, but the Wayne County prosecutor's office did not see the video until later. That's when they determined it was more appropriate to make a plea offer to misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

"(The officer)  thought that the person was biting him," Nenciarini said. "On further review, we don't think that rose to the level of the 5-year felony of assaulting a police officer."

Sources say Cretu has a history of having a hot temper. He's gotten into several fights on and off duty, including an argument with Comerica Park security several years ago. He refused to leave and police had to force him out.  Sources also say Cretu has thrown golf balls and rocks at cars speeding down his street.

Livonia police say Cretu has had several incidents in their city, including road rage, even jumping onto the hood of a woman's car.

"These officers probably had no idea that we had ever had any contact with him before," Nenciarini said.

Cretu was advised not to comment on the matter, but the Detroit Firefighters Association issued a statement to FOX 2:

"The Detroit Fire Fighters Association was made aware of this matter today and that said matter is resolved. Detroit firefighters are saving more lives than any time in the city's history."

While Cretu has pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor charge, some are questioning his wife's involvement, as she works at the prosecutor's office. Officials there say she only works in the warrants division and she didn't start working there until after the charges were filed.

Cretu was sentenced to one year probation and community service, along with about a $1,300 fine.

"At the time of the no contest plea, the judge made sure with the prosecutor that the police officers also agreed to the dismissal of the felony charges," his attorney told FOX 2. "To say that the videos from the body cams paints the Livonia Police Department in a bad light is an understatement."

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