Man sentenced for rampage

Becky Vargo • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:50 AM

James Stellema, 49, was sentenced Monday for operating while impaired (alcohol or controlled substance). He was also sentenced to 16-24 months each on charges of fleeing a police officer, fourth degree; and assaulting, resisting or obstructing a police officer.

The sentences for all three charges will be served at the same time.

A charge of fourth-degree habitual offender was dismissed when Stellema pleaded guilty to the other charges on Oct. 15.

Stellema also pleaded guilty to a probation violation for a 2011 drunk driving charge in Grand Haven. He was sentenced to prison for 3-5 years on that charge.

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.

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