Police

This Student Waited to Pull Over, So Cops Charged Him with Eluding Arrest*

'You don't get a driver's license and get to pick what rules you are going to follow and what rules you are not going to follow.'

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Driving
Dreamstime

When a police car instructed him to pull over, DaJuan Wallace waited to stop until he came across a Sam's Club parking lot. A native of Detroit, Wallace was "taught to find a well-lit area to pullover in."

For his caution, authorities in Saginaw County, Michigan, have decided to charge Wallace with fleeing the scene and eluding arrest—a felony.

Mlive.com reports:

The Detroit native who is a commuter student pursuing a master's degree at Saginaw Valley State University believes he did not commit a crime, since he  pulled over in a Sam's Club parking lot about 1.5 miles up the road from where police activated their lights.

"I live in Detroit, and I know some people who were robbed by fake police officers," Wallace said. "I was taught to find a well-lit area to pullover in."

Wallace said he was making a store run to get medicine for his girlfriend when he saw headlights in his rearview mirror, accelerating behind him.

Wallace signaled and moved into the right lane to let the vehicle pass. The police car activated its lights and sirens to initiate a traffic stop.

"I was not speeding up, turning off my lights or trying to get away," said Wallace, 24.

Police dash-cam video shows Wallace sticking his hand out the window and signaling. He said he did so to show police that he was going to pull over in the Sam's Club parking lot.

A couple additional things to note: Officer Leon Wilson, a member of the Saginaw Valley State University police department, only stopped Wallace because he thought his car might have been the same vehicle that he earlier spied running over the sidewalk. He didn't know that vehicle's make or model, and had lost sight of it, but Wallace's vehicle was the same color.

Wilson noted that Wallace continued travelling at 35 mph after the officer flashed his lights, and eventually pulled over. He arrested Wallace on the spot.

County Prosecutor Christopher Boyd discounted Wallace's excuse, saying, "You don't get a driver's license and get to pick what rules you are going to follow and what rules you are not going to follow."

Boyd has offered a plea deal, which would require Wallace to serve a year of probation for a misdemeanor charge. But Wallace isn't inclined to accept the deal:

 "Most people will say fine, thank you for not sending me to jail. Well, that will be detrimental to me.

"If I had to take a plea for a felony, I would be forced to resign my job, and I wouldn't be able to get financial aid, and I wouldn't be able to do anything with my degree. Even still with the misdemeanor."

Wallace is in a master's program for health administration and has a May 2016 graduation date.

How sad that behaving responsibly, with concern for one's own life and property, is apparently a violation of some inflexible, stupid law.

*Update: All charges dropped!

NEXT: Does Helicopter Parenting Turn Kids into Depressed College Students?

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  1. “Boyd has offered a plea deal, which would require Wallace to serve a year of probation ”

    What the-? Infuriating. In a sane world the officer would not have ticketed, and if he did the prosecutor would not have charged. Also, in a sane world stunts like this should get the prosecutor voted out of office and the officer reprimanded. This is just the worst authoritarian muscle flexing by people that are supposed to be *serving* the public.

    1. One word for you:

      Saginaw

      It’s like a smaller, shittier version of Flint, which itself is a smaller, shittier version of Detroit.

    2. And you’ll never hear their voices
      And you’ll never see their faces
      You have no recourse to the law anymore.

  2. So, the fellow was doing absolutely nothing wrong, by any definition. Let’s ruin his life and livelihood for fucks and giggles. Sure. Why not. Seems completely arbitrary reasonable.

  3. The 2nd time in my life I got pulled over I drove literally a block to pull into a parking lot off a 6 lane road with a 45 mph speed limit and a narrow shoulder, as much for the cop’s safety as for mine, and the douche came storming up to my window like Rambo screaming “WHY DIDN’T YOU PULL OVER WHEN YOU SEEN MY LIGHTS!” I told him I was looking for a safe place to pull over, in accordance with the driver instruction I received in my home state. He informed me “Well that’s not how we do it here”. I guess I lucked in out in that he only drilled me for an extra making an illegal right turn on a red (I failed to notice the sign at the light in my haste to pull off the road).

    1. I was.going to post a similar sentiment. I got pulled.over at about 2am in atlanta some years ago because the ifficer thought I was.a.possible dui. I slowed down a. Couple of times to read street signs because I was looking for an unfamiliar address.

      He put his lights on as I was approaching a sharp curve with no shoulder. Stopping at that point would have put him in serous jeopardy. So I drove about a hundred yards ahead and pulled over at a safer location. He flipped out briefly and told me that he would inform me if he wanted me to move.

      Thankfully once he realized I had done.nothing wrong he.sent me on my way.

      1. I suspect this post as a PUI.

    2. I had a similar experience riding a motorcycle on I95. I pointed out that I had signaled and pulled over where I felt it was safe since my safety was important. It was a construction area so there was almost no shoulder where he first switched on his lights.

      He took my license and went back to check on my riding buddy, who was on the ground at gunpoint with Barney Fife. His shirt had hiked up exposing his legally carried firearm. The guy must have figured us for a couple of real criminals.

      In the end the guy who pulled me over was pretty cool. He criticized the other cop for giving my friend a ticket for illegal lane change. Oddly enough, neither noticed that my tag was expired and that for some reason, it had the wrong month on the sticker.

      If I was the guy in this article, I would fight this all the way.

  4. “You don’t get a driver’s license and get to pick what rules you are going to follow and what rules you are not going to follow.”

    Only important people get to do that.

    Seriously – they’re telling people that if anyone who looks or acts like a cop tells you to do something, to it. Cops are allowed to do crazy shit because of a tiny fractional chance that something bad might happen, but citizens can’t take their own precautions even when it’s painfully obvious no harm was done.

    No harm was done, as well. Let’s emphasize that. These prosecutors and cops are detached from reality and get a hard-on for punishing the smallest, dumbest, pettiest shit they can. Hence why so many hate cops.

  5. So a combination of DWB and disrespected authoritah.

    Where I’m from it’s considered courteous to pull over into a lot. It’s safer for literally everyone involved. But, no: cop rage must be satiated.

  6. I want to hear police officials explain what actions people should take in light of fake police attacks. It happens, and people don’t give up the right to defend themselves just because police officers are either petulant or scared shitless on the job.

    1. Where I live, it’s the police who tell people to ensure that they pull over into a safe place. We’ve had some fake police attacks, and recently an alleged sexual assault at gunpoint by a real cop.

      1. What about those false raids, I wonder. If someone busts into your house claiming to be police when you know about other home invasions using the same tactics, do your police encourage you to protect yourself and your family?

        I’ve heard people claim the police told them to call 911 while driving to a safe place. Where I live talking on the phone while driving is against the law.

        1. I think you’re just supposed to accept your suffering and possible death as a necessary ingredient of the preservation of Law and Order. It’s for the greater good, so just embrace oblivion.

    2. He actually mentioned fake police attacks in explaining why he didn’t stop. It’s in the article referenced below. As I said, there, at least he’s alive…

    3. Let’s not forget about *real* police attacks as well.

      1. Unfortunately you don’t get to be proactive about those.

  7. I wonder – is the cop saying that he thinks the color of this car matched the one that he saw earlier (if said car even existed and actually had that color) enough to pull him over? Maybe he can get the whole thing thrown out on just that, though I doubt it.

    No resisting charge should be possible without an underlying charge.

  8. Jury trial. Good luck to the prosecutor when the dash cam video shows the guy driving 35 and hand signaling before pulling into a Sams Club.

    1. Jury trial

      While that may be DaJuan’s best course of action he is still out a bunch of money and several ignorant sociopaths suffer no consequences for their comprehensive ineptness.

  9. Absolutely absurd. I was always taught that when pulling over for the cops, to make sure you do it in a safe area where it won’t be dangerous for the cop to walk (so not in a tight shoulder on a busy highway, for example). It sounds like they have proof he signaled to them that he was doing this, and they’re charging him???

    The cop and prosecutor should both be reprimanded for abusing their power.

    1. I was fortunate that the time I was pulled over, it was in a very small podunk town, and a parking lot was literally the first space available off road, so the cop didn’t care. But I can see how going the extra 100 ft to help keep the cop safe would totally threaten him. /sarc

    2. “The cop and prosecutor should both be reprimanded for abusing their power.”

      I think it’s wonderful that Michigan is so safe that prosecutors have time for cases like this.

    3. I think from now on, just out of spite, if I ever get pulled over and I’m on a busy street, I’ll just pull over right there. If the cop gets run over by traffic, fuck him.

      Of course knowing the way things are, you’d probably be charged with a crime for doing that too. They basically just get to imprison you at their discretion it seems.

  10. Looks like they dropped the charges, so a bit of good news finally.

    http://www.mlive.com/news/sagi….._svsu.html

    1. It was a unique set of facts and (a unique) situation,” Chief Prosecutor Christopher Boyd said.

      Bullshit.

      The cop and prosecutor should be taken out back and shot, then fed into a woodchipper.

      1. It sounds a lot like the university got some backlash and that spilled over to the prosecutor. Anyone else and the driver would probably be looking at probation or jail time.

      2. Why waste bullets?

      3. There’s a special place in hell for people like them.

    2. “We did an independent review of the video,” Boyd said. “After reviewing that, we determined that we were not going to (pursue) felony charges. We communicated that to the defense May 13.”

      So the prosecutor initially charged the young man solely on the word of the cop.

      1. Not only this but he was also offered a plea deal at some point during all of this. I guess it is the SOP of the prosecutor’s office to offer a plea before doing anything but that is fucked.

        1. That way they get a lot of convictions with little effort.

    3. On looking at the article, I see that the driver was black. Suddenly the cop’s and prosecutor’s actions make a lot more sense (and I don’t mean that in a good way).

    4. “Boyd said that though people may have situations where they may need to pull into a well-lit area, “That’s not true for all situations.””

      Oh, good, he’s making the law absolutely clear to the citizens to avoid similar misunderstandings in future.

  11. I wonder — in what completely legal, non-violent way (that absolutely does not involve wood-chippers) could, say, a few retired libertarians with time on their hands make life…less pleasant for officer Wilson and prosecutor Boyd?

    1. You ever see the movie Hackers? I know, it’s terrible, but I love it so. You remember when the FBI agent arrests a couple of the hacker kids, and then they have a contest to see who can make the FBI agent’s life more miserable; cancelling his credit cards, placing weird, disturbing personal ads, stuff like that? That sounds fun.

      (maybe not legal, but at least non-violent)

    2. Why do you hate woodchippers? Are you a racist and John Deere Green offends you?

    3. Rent out the house next door to the prosecutor and play ACDC on the loudest speakers you can buy at full volume during the middle of the night. That’s how they got Noriega to surrender.

  12. I guess JD Tucille is gone now, so couldn’t remind Robbie of another incident. The People of Yavapai County, Their District Attorney, and Their Sherriff(sic*) Cordially Invite Serial Killers To Hunt On Their Land

    * I had no editor and 1.5 jobs and it showed

    1. tarran: added your blog to my bookmarks. Well done. We don’t agree on everything, but my blogroll is getting stale, and I’m noticing too many of my usuals getting all TEAMy with an election approaching.

  13. “County Prosecutor Christopher Boyd discounted Wallace’s excuse, saying, ‘You don’t get a driver’s license and get to pick what rules you are going to follow and what rules you are not going to follow.”

    Yo, fuck County Prosecutor Christopher Boyd. With a woodchipper.

  14. MLive doesn’t give DaJuan Wallace credit for his cleverness. He didn’t drive 1.5 miles looking for a well-lit place. The M-84/Bay Road corridor, all the way from Saginaw to SVSU, is well-lit and there are plenty of places to pull off the road. DaJuan went to the one place he knew was well-lit and had 24 hour video surveillance. I don’t blame him either. The cops in Saginaw (city and county) are a surly bunch.

    1. In addition to the bystanders and slower moving traffic of people going to Walmart that would also provide as witnesses to the encounter.

      Other great moments in my Saginaw’s history;

      https://reason.com/blog/2014/08…..tment-dump
      https://reason.com/blog/2014/08…..tment-dump

  15. Actually, the charges were dropped:

    http://www.freep.com/story/new…../29840135/

    Arresting the kid was a gross overreaction, but at least he’s still alive and not full of holes. So there’s that…

  16. Last time I got pulled over, I did so immediately and the cop nearly rear ended me.

  17. I’ve done the same thing, hand signals and all. When asked why I didn’t immediately pull over, I told him it was late at night and I knew that gas station would be safer than the road for both of us, well lit and have security cameras. Asshole did not like that notion and claimed he smelled liquor. I said that’s odd since I’ve not been drinking and there has never been a spilled bottle in my car. Asshole didn’t like that. Asshole then wanted me to get out and do a voluntary sobriety check. I said what happens if I say no? This went back and forth for 10 minutes before he finally let me go without a ticket or a beat down. BOO YEAH GAS STATION CAMERAS.

    Never found out the cause of the original pull over.

    1. “Never found out the cause of the original pull over.”

      FYTW. You should know this by now.

    2. “Never found out the cause of the original pull over.”
      The cop’s kids were with the ex-wife that week so he needed someone else to beat the shit out of the compensate that his greatest achievement in life was making the JV football team.

  18. Just remember, no prosecutor would ever use law X to punish ridiculous thing Y, even if it technically allows it.

    Now if we can just find some vague law that technically requires alt-text…

  19. What part about complete, immediate, and unquestioned submission to authority does this kid not understand? Does he think he lives in a free country or something?

  20. The reason for the pullover was clearly bogus but driving 1.5 miles before pulling over? I don’t like cops either but thats ahem..taking it too far.

    1. Someone else pointed out that he was probably looking for a well-lit place that also had cameras.

    2. The reason for the pullover was clearly bogus but driving 1.5 miles before pulling over?

      Depends on the situation. Maybe in this case it was, but I’ve been on a lot of roads that you would have to drive that far or more to pull far enough off the road for safety, or to find a well-lit place to pull over that is far enough off the road for safety.

      1. Out by my house, you’d have to drive 6 miles to find a well-lit place (or 13 if you were going the other direction). It’s a excellent location for amateur astronomy.

  21. I’m glad they dropped the charges, but a decent background check will still show that he was charged with a felony, and that alone will cause a lot of employers to toss his application for a job.

    So, long-term damage has still been done.

    1. The Koch bros. might still hire him though; weren’t they reforming their hiring policies as relates to criminal records or something like that?

      But of course they’re still evil…

  22. I had something similar happen to me once. I was driving on a road with 2 lanes and literally nowhere to pull over for the unmarked, undercover (i.e. not just a plain crown vic, a sporty honda) car behind me. On my left was a concrete divider with no shoulder, on my right was a wall with no shoulder. I slowed down to 15mph (in a 40) and put my blinkers on to let the officer know I wasn’t running, just looking for a spot to pull over. Nonetheless, when I did find a spot to pull over a couple minutes later, I got the full serial killer treatment. They got behind their doors and ordered me out at gunpoint as 4 more squad cars pulled up. Had I been black I’m sure I would have been going to jail, but they had some mercy. After I explained what I was doing, and them lecturing me for 20 minutes about how I should in the future just stop dead in the middle of traffic, and because it was my birthday and my car was filled with cute girls on our way to party on South Beach, they let me go with a warning for my original grievous offense of accelerating too quickly (“aggressive driving”, they thought I was street racing).

  23. how are they gonna be heroes if they’re never in dangerous situations?

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