MOUNT CLEMENS, MI – The Macomb County Prosecutor is crediting a Lyft driver for his quick thinking, cautionary actions, likely preventing a serious crime from occurring in Macomb County.
On June 25th, 2019, at approximately 10:00 P.M., Warren Police responded to a call from the spouse of a Lyft driver, requesting a welfare check. The driver had text his wife following what he deemed suspicious activity by four men he was transporting. The driver commented that he felt unsafe and was concerned for the safety of others.
Police and prosecutors allege the Lyft driver initially picked up the defendants at two different stops in Detroit. The defendants placed bags in the trunk of the vehicle, asked the driver to make multiple stops, including one at a gas station, where a bag was removed from the trunk and placed in another vehicle.
Officers met up with the vehicle at a stop at the Hawthorne Suites, on Civic Center, in Warren. Police allege the defendants were uncooperative and disregarded officer instructions. The two defendants seated in the back seat of the vehicle, Mikal Cooper & Bradford Walton, were in possession of two loaded hand guns. The third defendant, Devin Howard, approached the vehicle and officers, allegedly being both verbally and physically confrontational. Howard had to be taken to the ground and subdued with pepper spray in order to be handcuffed, but not before causing minor injuries to police.
“The bravery of the Lyft driver, reporting the suspicious activity of his passengers, must be commended,” stated Prosecutor Eric Smith. “We have two defendants carrying unregistered, loaded, .40 caliber weapons. This driver likely prevented a very serious crime from happening in Macomb County.”
Mikal Cooper, 22, from Detroit and Bradford Walton, 20, from Harper Woods were both charged with Weapons – Carrying Concealed, a 5-year felony. Devin Howard, 22, from Detroit was charged with 2 counts of Police Officer – Assaulting/Resisting/Obstructing Causing Injury, a 4-year felony, and 1 count Police Officer – Assaulting/Resisting/Obstructing, a 2-year felony.
On Wednesday, June 26, the suspects were arraigned in 37th District Court in Warren. Walton and Howard have each posted bond; Cooper remains in jail on 25,000 bond. All three have been bound over to Macomb County Circuit Court, and await arraignment July 29, 2019 at 1:30 P.M. in front of Judge K. Viviano.