GR man sentenced for police chase
A Grand Rapids man who began a series of crimes by driving off with two local police officers inside and holding on to his car has been sent to prison.
Dakwon Maurice Jones, 19, was in Allegan County Circuit Court Monday, March 25, for sentencing on charges of assault with intent to do great bodily harm, possession of a firearm by a felon and assaulting/resisting/obstructing police.
Judge Roberts S. Kengis sentenced Jones to spend four to 10 years in prison.
“You created a very, very serious situation,” Kengis said.
The car Jones was riding in was originally pulled over for speeding on US-131 near Plainwell May 30. Police said a sheriff’s deputy suspected drug use during the traffic stop and called in a Plainwell public safety officer for backup. As the police were taking the people in the car out, Jones jumped over to the driver’s seat and drove away, causing minor injuries to the two officers.
An Otsego Police Department officer found the vehicle near D Avenue and US-131 and chased after Jones until he pulled into a driveway on 16th Street in Otsego Township and ran off.
A police dog couldn’t track him and he wasn’t seen again until calls started coming into central dispatch reporting a man matching the description walking near 16th Street and Baseline Road. Officers went looking and then got a call to a home on AB Avenue in Alamo Township where Jones had stolen car keys from a home and fled with a vehicle parked in the driveway, running over the homeowner’s ankle. Plainwell and Otsego officers chased Jones north on US-131 until sheriff’s deputies used Stop Sticks devices to blow the vehicle’s tires and he was arrested without further incident.
In Allegan County Jones was charged two counts of assault with intent to do great bodily harm, receiving/concealing a stolen firearm, fourth degree fleeing police, possession of a weapon by a felon, two counts of assaulting/resisting/obstructing police and felony firearms. He was charged as a third habitual offender. He also faced charges in Kalamazoo County for those parts of the crimes.
Allegan County prosecutor Myrene Koch argued for a prison sentence for Jones.
“He put the lives of both the deputy and the officer at risk, along with everyone who was on the road at the time,” Koch said.
She said Jones wasn’t willing to follow the law or the directions of the officers who pulled over the car.
Attorney Matt Antkoviak represented Jones and emphasized his client was only 19 years old at the time of the crimes.
“He’s very thankful that the officers were not injured because of his reckless behavior.
Antkoviak said his client realized he was going to prison but hoped he could be sent to a boot camp-style program.
“He asks the court to consider something like that..,” Antkoviak said. “I think those programs would be beneficial to him.”
He also asked for concurrent sentences on the different charges.
Jones also spoke at the sentencing, asking for a program along those lines.
“I’d like to apologize to the court for taking its time up, to my family for not being there for them at a time of need and to the officers for putting their lives in danger,” he said.
Jones said he’d gotten his GED while in jail and was trying to benefit from the time he was locked up.
“I’m not the person these charges suggest,” he said.
Kengis said, “It’s always unfortunate to see someone of your age going to prison.”
He refused the request for boot camp.
“I’m doing that because of the fact you’ve had the chance with programs in the past,” Kengis said. “I’m hoping prison works with you.
“I hope you can learn something from prison and realize you don’t want to go back there.”
He sentenced Jones to four to 10 years in prison for assault with intent to do great bodily harm, two to five years prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm and 299 days in jail for assaulting/resisting/obstructing police. He was given credit for 299 days served and allowed to serve the sentences concurrently.
The other charges against Jones in Allegan County were all dropped as part of a plea agreement with Allegan County prosecutors.
Contact Dan Pepper at email@example.com or at (269) 673-5534.