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Police arrest man armed with assault weapon, thwart 'possible ambush'

Becky Vargo • Jul 18, 2018 at 12:32 PM

A 24-year-old Grand Rapids-area man is in the Ottawa County Jail on a $45,000 bond after police responding to a crash last week found him passed out in the grass with a loaded assault weapon pointed toward the highway.

Drugs, ammunition and a bulletproof vest were found in his vehicle, according to court records.

Despite all that, Capt. Mark Bennett of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office said the man claims he was not lying in wait for the police.

“He denies any threat to police and was charged with multiple crimes,” Bennett said.

Joshua Michael Gryzen of Wyoming was arraigned July 13 in Ottawa County District Court on charges of drunken driving, resisting police, possession of firearms while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, possession of marijuana, and possession of a controlled substance. Gryzen demanded a preliminary examination and a probable-cause conference, which were scheduled for later this week.

The incident

Deputies responded to a single-car crash at about 2:13 a.m. July 13 on westbound I-96 near the 17-mile marker in Polkton Township, according to information in the probable-cause determination, a hearing used before a judge will authorize a warrant for a felony arrest.

The driver had fled on foot. Deputies tracked the driver and observed him in the grass on the back side of a fence.

“He was laying on his back with an AR-15 rifle by his left hand,” the document says. “It appeared that Josh (Gryzen) had set up a spot of advantage for a possible ambush.”

According to the warrant document, Gryzen did not respond to verbal instructions given by deputies who had their pistols pointed at him.

Additional deputies arrived and attempted to take the man into custody. It was at that point that Gryzen woke up, attempted to fight with deputies and reached for his waistband, the document says. Deputies wrestled with Gryzen before getting him into handcuffs, police said.

Officers smelled a strong odor of intoxicants coming from him, so they took him to a hospital for a blood draw after obtaining a search warrant, the document says.

Deputies searching the scene found a Sig Sauer AR-15-style rifle with a 20-round magazine. The magazine was inserted and one round chambered in the rifle. There were additional 30- and 40-round magazines near the man, the document says.

Deputies also found a container of marijuana and a bong along the trail.

In the suspect’s vehicle, there was more marijuana, a grinder, some pills and an ammunition box containing 570 0.223 rifle rounds, as well as a tactical ballistic vest.

Bennett said the man’s behavior at the scene was concerning and that information on the incident was being turned over to federal authorities for potential charges.

Criminal background

A background check with the Secretary of State reveals that Gryzen has a clean driving record but does not currently have a driver’s license.

His Kent County criminal history shows a conviction for third-degree home invasion in 2012, with a sentence of probation. More information was not available because the case was sealed under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, which allows a conviction to be erased from someone’s record if they successfully complete the terms of probation.

Gryzen has no criminal history in Ottawa County.

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