Witnesses say they could feel man's head hit floor in Corktown alleged assault by cop

- A Detroit Police commander is accused of shoving a customer at a Detroit bar so hard that he put the man in a coma.

Detroit Police Commander Timothy Leach has been suspended after he was accused of critically injuring a man, while off-duty as security Corktown on St. Patrick's Day.

The victim is Michael Karpovich and his attorney says the 41-year-old was unresponsive for nearly 10 days at Detroit Receiving Hospital. His brother, Troy Karpovich, says he was finally able to communicate with him Wednesday.

"He's literally bruised and injured and fractured all around around his head," Troy said. "he opens his eyes and will respond to some commands." 

Troy says it's providing a small sense of relief but also disbelief that it was a Detroit Police Commander accused of putting him there. 

Troy said his brother is suffering from severe damage to his frontal lobes and part of his skull had to be removed to relieve pressure on his brain.

"It's like a bad dream. I can't explain it," he said.

Internal and criminal investigations are underway. Leach was working off-duty as a bouncer and is accused of trying to remove Karpovich from the bar. Attorney Jennifer Damico says there's no doubt excessive force was used and has spoke to several witnesses.

"Unbelievable force was used," Damico said. "He sees Leach push him one time, Mike stumbles backwards and regains his balance."

Witnesses said Leach shoved Karpovich so violently again that they could both feel and hear his head hit the concrete floor. 

"It's gruesome. They said it sounded like a watermelon dropping from two stories. They can't get the sound out of their head," Damico said.

Witnesses said Leach didn't stop.

"He went in and grabbed him by the arm and started dragging him and tried to drag him out of the bar."

Damico says at least five people called 911 and Leach disappeared.

"And then he's working the back gate of the bar, like nothing happened," Damico said.

Detroit police said that two uniformed officers showed up to the bar and say they were not told that any off-duty officers were working. Detroit police said they were also told that this was a slip and fall. 

Detroit Police Chief James Craig says police weren't aware of the incident until Wednesday March 14th, a day after Troy Karpovich filed a report.

"I think it's disingenuous for the city to say they had notice of this [and they] only knew about when when Troy made the report," Damico said.

Damico says every witness shares a similar account of what happened but says she needs more to come forward.

"We need something from the back of the bar and when this whole thing started. We can't piece that together yet."

Troy says their goal is simple: the truth.

"I just want the truth. I want a full, fair, investigation and if a crime was committed, I would like the person that did it to be held accountable whether it's a police officer or not."

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in - includes Advertiser Stories