By Rosemary K. Otzman
Joseph Andrew Venable, 21, who was arrested May 13 on a charge of assaulting a Sumpter Township police officer causing injury, accepted a plea deal at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice and will be formally sentenced June 26.
Venable appeared before Judge Chylinski on May 29 where he was arraigned on the information. Immediately, Judge Chylinski held a disposition conference between the prosecutor and defense attorney.
Then Venable agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of attempted assault on a police officer causing injury, in exchange for dismissal of the assault charge, a felony.
Venable was first brought before 34th District Court Judge Brian Oakley on May 22 where Venable waived his preliminary exam and was sent on to circuit court.
Judge Oakley was told a youthful-offender agreement for a Dec. 6, 2012 breaking and entering had been fulfilled and Venable had a disorderly person charge in 2010.
The prosecutor told Judge Oakley that the police officer broke his hand in the incident and may require surgery.
Venable had been given a $50,000 or 10% bond, with no drugs or alcohol, at his video arraignment before Chief Judge Tina Brooks Green. Judge Oakley reduced that to a personal recognizance bond, but kept the no drugs and alcohol provision.
Judge Chylinski continued that bond and referred the case to the probation department for a pre-sentence report.
Sumpter Detective John Toth said at 10:18 p.m. May 12, Officer David McKean was dispatched to a report of someone stumbling and vomiting in the roadway in the Sumpter and Willis area. Officer McKean was unable to locate the man at first, but then found him inside Sumpter Market.
The man, later identified as Venable, was trying to get out of the building through a door that was locked, Toth said. He was able to force open the door and exit. Then Officer Brian Stefani pulled into the market parking lot and Venable took off on foot.
Toth said Venable had fallen and McKean tried to get him under physical control. Officer McKean suffered an injured right thumb and, after Venable’s arrest, McKean drove himself to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital for treatment.
Officer McKean needed surgery and will be off duty three to four months while recuperating, Det. Toth said.
Det. Toth noted Venable’s alcohol consumption had proved to be extremely high the night of his arrest.
By Rosemary K. Otzman