Police car escapee arraigned

A 20-year-old Coopersville man pleaded not guilty when arraigned Wednesday on some of the charges related to an escape from a police car earlier this week. Joe Legatz was appointed Mulder's attorney and bond was set at $10,000 cash surety on all charges. A pre-preliminary exam (conference with the attorneys) was scheduled for June 14. Arraignment on one more stolen vehicle charge is expected later today.
Becky Vargo
Jun 9, 2011

Jordan Michael Mulder, 297 Mechanic St., was charged with larceny from a motor vehicle, resisting and obstructing a police officer, malicious destruction of police property, and car theft when arraigned by video in front of Judge Richard Kloote in Ottawa County 58th District Court. He is also being charged as a fourth-offense habitual offender.

Mulder was arrested early Wednesday morning, three days after he kicked out a police car window to escape. Ottawa County Sheriff’s deputies picked up Mulder about 3 a.m. in Coopersville, near a Mechanic Street home, Lt. Mark Bennett said.

“During the investigation, deputies continued to check areas Mulder was known to have frequented,” Bennett said. “Deputies were checking the Mechanic Street area when they saw several individuals outside a residence.”

Bennett said the deputies stopped to talk to the people, then found Mulder hiding behind a bush. He was arrested without incident and taken to the Ottawa County Jail.

Mulder escaped from deputies on Sunday, in the area of Fillmore Street and 120th Avenue in Olive Township, when he was being transported to jail for a parole violation, Bennett said. Mulder kicked out the patrol car window — and, although handcuffed, he was able to get out of the vehicle and ran from deputies.

Bennett said Mulder found a vehicle parked nearby with the keys in the ignition.

“That vehicle was largely unused, but the owner had left the keys in it,” Bennett said. “Mr. Mulder was able to start that up and drive away.”

Bennett said Mulder went to a family cabin in the Weidman area, northwest of Mount Pleasant.

On Monday evening, he traveled to Kent County, apparently to see his girlfriend, but was instead spotted by police. Walker police followed Mulder, but found that he had ditched the car in a rural area north of Grand Rapids. Mulder apparently hid in an apple orchard.

“We now know he stayed there until nightfall Tuesday night,” Bennett said.

Then Mulder allegedly stole a car from the area of Eighth Avenue and Roosevelt Street near Marne, and headed north to the family property, started having car trouble and turned back.

“He drives it back to where he stole it from and dumps it, then takes another car from the same area,” Bennett said.

Mulder then drove to Coopersville, where police found him a short time later.

Mulder has previous convictions dating back to 2008 of auto theft, assault, and receiving and concealing stolen goods.

His mother, Dawn Mulder of Lakeview, said her son had just spent 25 days in jail for failing a drug test while on parole when he was arrested Sunday for drinking and disorderly conduct.

“He’s got a terrible problem with substance abuse,” his mother said. “He’s very compulsive — acts before he thinks.”

Bennett said some questioned how someone in handcuffs could escape from a police car. “It doesn’t happen often, but it happens,” he said.

Bennett said there doesn’t appear to be any violation of department policies, but the incident is being reviewed.

“We will be critiquing this,” he said.

Meanwhile, Bennett said all vehicles involved in the case have been returned to their owners.

WZZM-TV contributed to this story.

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