Murder suspect from Royal Oak arrested after chase

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GRATIOT COUNTY (WJRT) (1/18/2019) - Police in Gratiot County helped arrest a man accused of killing his father in Royal Oak after a chase.

Relatives became concerned about the well-being of the suspect's 73-year-old father after they didn't answer several phone calls. The Royal Oak Police Department found the older man dead around 5:50 p.m.

Police say the father's hands and legs were bound when officers found him inside the house where the two men lived in the 3700 block of Elmhurst Avenue.

A Berrien County sheriff deputy had contact with the son early Thursday morning after he had run out of gas on I-94 near the Indiana state line.

The Gratiot County Sheriff's Office made contact with the son at the Admiral gas station in Ithaca around 8:15 p.m. after callers reported the 31-year-old appeared to be disoriented and high on drugs.

While sheriff deputies were talking with the man, they determined he appeared to be under the influence of narcotics and he was rambling about bizarre things.

Police determined the vehicle he was driving belonged to his father, so they called his number. However, the suspect's mother answered and told police the 31-year-old actually was wanted to killing his father.

The Royal Oak Police Department confirmed the suspect was wanted for murder and asked Gratiot County authorities to detain him. When deputies approached the 6-foot-3, 200-pound suspect to arrest him, he started punching and kicking them.

The suspect got into his father's car and took off, leading police from several agencies on a chase. Spike strips deployed in Clinton County flattened the two front tires, but the suspect continued fleeing onto I-96.

The car eventually caught fire on I-96 near Howell in Livingston County, ending the hour-long pursuit. The suspect again fought with police when they approached his car.

Police deployed a Taser at least twice on the suspect with little effect in calming him down. Several officers wrestled with the suspect before they were able to put him in handcuffs.

Officers from the Royal Oak Police Department took custody of the suspect and brought him back to their jurisdiction to face murder charges.

One Gratiot County sheriff deputy sought treatment at MidMichigan Medical Center for minor injuries sustained in the scuffle with the suspect.

Royal Oak police say the 73-year-old had been murdered sometime this week, but an exact time of death couldn't immediately be determined. An autopsy was scheduled for Friday to confirm a cause of death.

Authorities from Gratiot, Clinton, Ingham and Livingston counties, along with the Lansing Police Department, all assisted with the chase.

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