In the words of Officer Kevin Jerome, the guy who will never live this down for the rest of his career:
“On 07/05/2019 at approximately 1101 hours, I was driving a fully marked Ferndale Police vehicle P60. I was dispatched to 9 Mile and Woodward to meet a male who just had his luggage stolen by a taxi driver. I parked my patrol vehicle in a parking spot in front of Como’s (22812 Woodward) and exited my vehicle. My emergency lights were not activated. I spoke to Austin Wooten who was standing near the bus stop in front of Como’s. I had several conversations with Wooten regarding the unknown taxi company that drove him to 9 Mile and Woodward.
I entered and exited my patrol vehicle several times throughout the course of my interaction with Wooten. The last time I exited my vehicle I advised Wooten on the incident being a civil matter. As I was explaining several things to Wooten, a male that was also at the bus stop turned to me and said “Hey, someone is getting into your vehicle.”
I turned toward my patrol vehicle and started to run towards my vehicle. I observed an African American female with a white t-shirt, later identified as Destiny Talora Hawkins, in the drivers seat. I was several feet away from my patrol vehicle as the driver sped north on Woodward. I immediately notified dispatch that an unknown subject just drove away in my patrol vehicle and gave dispatch a description and direction.
I walked back to Ferndale PD where I took patrol vehicle 66 and started traveling towards the pursuit. I was receiving radio updates that the vehicle crashed at 7 Mile/ Stoepel and they had one subject in custody. Upon my arrival to that area, Hawkins was already in custody and several other vehicles were struck. I stood by and took no action. I returned to FPD with Detective Goebel.”
The body-worn camera footage is priceless and will be published separately. Enjoy!