DPD investigating officer who pinned biker • $100M to convert I-375 • Ford's new Mustang

A Detroit police officer is under investigation after using his scout car to ram and pin a fleeing biker against a building, to end a pursuit.

That young man ended up in the hospital with a broken foot. Now DPD is looking into whether the officers followed its policies.

It happened as officers chased the 19-year-old suspect and a few others downtown last Thursday.

It all started near Huntington Plaza where police say four off-road vehicles were driving recklessly and doing stunts in the middle of the roadway. An officer tried to conduct a traffic stop — but all four riders bolted.

Police say the biker put the public at risk: Driving on the wrong side of Jefferson and on a sidewalk as officers tried to stop him.

He ended up with a broken foot when the cop in question struck him with his car.

"On the face of it,we don’t want our scout cars coming into contact, but I also don’t want to prejudge it until I’ve talked to the officers and we’ve done a thorough investigation," said Chris Graveline.

Graveline heads up the professional standards section and says they’ll be looking into why the officers chased the biker — the department’s policy only allows pursuits for violent crimes.

"What exactly were the officers ... what had they seen? What information did they have? And why did they feel the need to pursue this particular individual?" Graveline said.

Detroiter Frank Dillard says those are moot points

"He just tried to outrun the policemen. That’s what he tried to do - he thought he could outrun them and he found out he couldn’t outrun them, that’s what caused him to break his leg or broke his foot," Dillard said. "He put himself in the hospital. They didn’t put him in there, he put himself in there."

Biker and tow truck company owner Lavish Williams disagrees.

"I’m not saying it was alright for him to run or not stop. I don’t know why he didn’t stop, I wasn’t there," Williams said. "But to see the police use their cruiser to push an individual into a building leaving him with a broken leg? C’mon, that’s a lot of liability."

The incident in question is the latest squabble in the Detroit police crackdown on off-road vehicles.

"We all want people to enjoy the use of their ATVs," Graveline said. "But they also have to follow the rules of the road - especially in these highly populated areas and in the neighborhoods. This can create very dangerous situations for our other citizens."

The officer in question who was behind the wheel is on desk duty. The young man he struck and was pinned up against the wall was arrested for fleeing and eluding police.  

Feds to announce $100 million in funding for I-375 conversion

Michigan's transportation department is getting more than a $100 million from the federal government to convert freeway in Detroit into a boulevard, tearing out a controversial highway that uprooted Black neighborhoods decades ago.

The Department of Transportation will be funneling $104,657,051 from the massive infrastructure bill that was passed last year to rip out I-375, which is about a mile long and transports drivers into the heart of Detroit.

When it was built, it also paved over Detroit's Black Bottom and Paradise Valley neighborhoods, displacing thousands of residents and destroying a thriving area of business and community. Plans to redo the highway have been in the works for years and construction is expected to begin in 2027.

To rebuild I-375 as a boulevard, MDOT would realign the traffic ramps near the freeway and merging areas, install traffic "calming measures", take out bridges and stormwater pump stations, and implement new pedestrian crossings and sidewalks.

Here is more on the I-375 project

Teen stabbed to death during fight in Fraser; 3 juveniles in custody

A teen was fatally stabbed during a fight Tuesday afternoon in Fraser, police said. Police said the stabbing happened near Garfield Road and Klein Avenue around 4:30 p.m., which is about ½ mile from the middle and high schools. Three victims were taken to a hospital, where one of them died, police said. He was a Fraser High School student.

Sources said one of the hospitalized teens has a collapsed lung. "I feel horrible for these parents. I can't even imagine getting a phone call like that about my child. It's really scary," a parent said.

The Fraser Public Schools district said Richards middle school and Fraser High School were under lockdowns from 4:45 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. due to an external police situation. All school events were also canceled.

A man who witnessed the stabbing said he rushed to give the victim CPR. "The stab was in the neck, in between the neck and the shoulder," Leon Gruzwalski said. "I seen the boy fall, he was gurgling and that. I got off the bike, ran over there, just tried to do what I would want someone to help my kid." Police said three juveniles are in custody. 

Read more here.

Ford debuts new Mustang

The newest 7th generation Ford Mustang was unveiled at a North American International Autoshow at Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit Wednesday. And before the gates even opened, the hype was palpable with an outdoor space available thanks to the auto show's date change from winter - and a "Stampede" of Mustangs spanning the iconic car's history.

It was dubbed a Stampede by event organizers. "We called it the Stampede, that was the travel from the World Headquarters to Hart Plaza," he said. Once inside a party-like atmosphere with some history sprinkled in. Then came the moment we all waited for as an employee of the Flat Rock Assembly Plant introduced the newest Mustang.

The all-new Ford Mustang has a fighter jet engine-inspired cockpit, a feature that allows you to rev the engine from your key fob, and an electronic drift brake. With a V8 engine, and 480 horsepower, it is the most powerful Mustang ever.  

And at the end of the unveiling came an added bonus - a new Mustang Dark Horse: A performance series racing car that has 500 horsepower which got a roar from the crowd. The base models will be listed at $30,000 to $40,000 fully customizable. 

More here

Pink Energy, aka PowerHome Solar, troubles mount

Following an exposé by Rob Wolchek into PowerHome Solar's business practices and its CEO Jayson Waller, the company leader sat down with FOX 2 for an interview on the criticisms that customers had levied against the solar power company.

The self-proclaimed billionaire pushed back on the narrative that he was the villain in the story. It was the company's supplier Generac that led to disruptions in customer's power supply. An interview with at least one new customer found no Generac technology installed, but the same old problems.

It's one of many problems the firm which now goes by Pink Energy is having. Waller's company recently settled a lawsuit over copyright infringement over its first name. And it's still "onboarding" employees to be licensed salesmen, something that many of the people we met in the first story were not. 

Waller is also under investigation by the state Attorney General for violations of the Consumer Protection Act. The problems are adding up for the company

Live on FOX 2

Daily Forecast

It's going to be another great weather day Thursday with mid-70s and sun expected. Higher temperatures are also on the way this weekend and next week.

What else we're watching

  1. Has the future finally arrived? A Michigan supplier has struck a deal to build autonomous robots that can deliver food to buyers. Some residents in Birmingham have already enjoyed the benefits of the technology.
  2. Law enforcement has determined it was a 13-year-old student in Warren that posted social media threats saying he would shoot up the school. Class was canceled Wednesday at some schools in the district over the threats
  3. Dearborn police say they will begin ticketing parents who drop off their children on Ford Road before Fordson High School, in an effort to make the area safer for kids. The directive comes after multiple traffic complaints were made along with the high speed limit. 
  4. Video of President Biden's motorcade caught the moment a motorcycle crashed en route to the Detroit Auto Show. See the clip for yourself.
  5. There was lots of news made at the auto show. One that wasn't delivered during prepared remarks but might be just as interesting is the story Bill Ford told Biden while showing him around the Mach-E. 

Biden: Tentative railway labor deal reached, averting strike

President Joe Biden said Thursday that a tentative railway labor agreement has been reached, averting a potentially devastating strike before the pivotal midterm elections.

Railroads and union representatives had been in negotiations for 20 hours at the Labor Department on Wednesday to hammer out a deal, as there was a risk of a strike starting on Friday that could have shut down rail lines across the country. Biden made a key phone call to Labor Secretary Marty Walsh at 9 p.m. as the talks were ongoing after Italian dinner had been brought in, according to a White House official insisting on anonymity.

What resulted from the back and forth was a tentative agreement that will go to union members for a vote after a post-ratification cooling off period of several weeks.

"These rail workers will get better pay, improved working conditions, and peace of mind around their health care costs: all hard-earned," Biden said. "The agreement is also a victory for railway companies who will be able to retain and recruit more workers for an industry that will continue to be part of the backbone of the American economy for decades to come."