Erratic driver pleads guilty

A Grand Rapids man charged in connection with a driving rampage through Ottawa County two weeks ago pleaded guilty to three counts on Monday.
Becky Vargo
Oct 16, 2012


James Dale Stellema, 49, will be sentenced in Ottawa County Circuit Court on Nov. 19 on charges of operating while impaired (alcohol or controlled substance), fleeing a police officer and assaulting/obstructing/resisting a police officer. An habitual offender charge was dropped.

Stellema was arrested Oct. 3 after an altercation on U.S. 31 in Grand Haven Township after he was stopped by police.

Ottawa County Central Dispatch started receiving calls from motorists about an erratic driver on I-96 near Coopersville shortly before 3 that afternoon. Stellema then crashed his SUV into another vehicle while exiting the freeway onto 68th Avenue.

Police said Stellema then drove south on 68th and west on Warner Street, before striking another vehicle in Allendale Township. Police caught up with Stellema in the area of M-45 and U.S. 31, and pursued him north to Lincoln Street. That's where Stellema got out of his Cadillac Escalade and fought with arresting officers before being taken into custody, said Sgt. Chris Koster of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department.

Stellema remains lodged in the Ottawa County Jail.


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