Grand Haven Tribune: State Briefs

State Briefs

Associated Press • Jun 22, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Here’s what’s making news across Michigan today:

Michigan police officer who repeatedly hit man is fired

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — A police officer seen on bodycam video repeatedly punching a man during an arrest in western Michigan has been fired.

The city of Grand Rapids confirmed Thursday that the officer notified the city manager that he was waiving his right to a discharge hearing.

The Grand Rapids Police Department earlier this month announced that its Internal Affairs Unit determined that the officer violated department policy during the March 17 traffic stop and should lose his job. Police note the officer cursed and struck the motorist dozens of times in the leg.

The Kent County prosecutor's office earlier declined to bring criminal charges against the officer.

The department has faced recent scrutiny, including an investigation by Michigan's Civil Rights office into complaints of discrimination and the arrest of a 12-year-old boy.

Ex-Detroit school official wants $41,000 for unused vacation

DETROIT (AP) — A former Detroit school official whose contract wasn't renewed is seeking $41,000 for unused vacation days.

Steve Wasko so far is winning. The state Labor Department agreed he should be paid, and an administrative law judge affirmed the decision. The Detroit Free Press says the school district now is appealing in Wayne County court.

Wasko was director of enrollment, but his contract wasn't renewed in 2017. He earlier served as the district's spokesman.

He says he's pursuing compensation for what he earned. But the district says it's customary for administrators to be paid only for 25 unused vacation days. Wasko says he had 100.

He says he "simply worked hard" and rarely took a day off.

Dad kills young man who shot son in Detroit robbery attempt

DETROIT (AP) — Detroit police say a father fatally shot a young man who allegedly shot his 15-year-old son in the face while trying to rob the boy during the sale of a video game.

Capt. Russell Solano says a preliminary investigation found the boy had arranged to meet Thursday evening with the young man at the boy's home on Detroit's southwest side.

Solano says that the boy's father, who saw what happened from a window, rushed outside. Detroit police spokeswoman Officer Holly Lance tells The Detroit News the father shot the young man.

The 15-year-old was hospitalized in critical condition.

Lance says the 36-year-old father was taken into custody. The case is expected to be reviewed by prosecutors to determine whether charges will be brought.

Michigan man convicted in 2 killings gets 2nd life sentence

CENTREVILLE (AP) — A Michigan man already serving life in prison for a woman's killing has now been given a second life sentence without the chance of parole for the slaying of his ex-wife's husband.

Zachary Patten received the additional punishment Friday. He was convicted of first-degree murder and other charges last month in the July 2017 death of Shane Richardson at a home in southwestern Michigan's Florence Township.

Earlier on the same day, the Portage man killed Graciela Portillo-Esparza at a mobile home park in Kalamazoo County. The mother of four was shot after stepping between Patten and her brother, Oscar Portillo, who were arguing. Oscar Portillo at the time was the ex-boyfriend of Patten's girlfriend.

Patten was arrested in South Bend, Indiana. He was found guilty of first-degree murder last year for Portillo-Esparza's death.

Naked man causes brief disruption at Detroit Metro airport

ROMULUS (AP) — Authorities say a man took off more than his belt and shoes at a Detroit Metropolitan Airport security checkpoint, and that he got completely naked before trying to pass through a metal detector.

The Wayne County Airport Authority said in a statement that the man walked up to a checkpoint at the suburban Detroit airport early Friday and disrobed. He then disconnected a stanchion, or barrier, and approached a metal detector, but security didn't let him through.

Airport police and fire crews responded and determined the man didn't pose a threat, but word of his naked appearance spread on Twitter.

The airport says the man was taken to an area hospital for evaluation.

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