State Police apprehend robbery suspect after chase

Published 2:56 pm Friday, September 5, 2003

By By NORMA LERNER and staff reports / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Carl and Randy Burger of Yankee Street, Niles, were in the right place at the right time to unintentionally slow down a robbery suspect fleeing police in a high-speed car chase Thursday morning on Anderson Road west of Edwardsburg.
The Burgers are father and son.
Carl Burger was sitting on a 20-foot-pipe in the back of his pickup truck to prevent it from falling out when his son, Randy, driving the truck north on Anderson, turned left into their farm field.
A speeding car driven by robbery suspect Dean James Walter, 37, of Niles, northbound on Anderson, slammed into the pipe and part of it jammed into his car's radiator, causing the car to catch on fire and stop west on Pine Lake Street near Anderson Road in Howard Township.
Police units were pursuing the car and closed in to apprehended Walter.
Walter is in custody after a two-state pursuit beginning in Indiana.
Walter was wanted by police for his alleged involvement in several armed robberies in Southwest Michigan and Northern Indiana.
Officials at Michigan State Police Post 53 in Niles said in a press release issued Thursday afternoon that at about 10 a.m. on Thursday, officers from the St. Joseph County (Ind.) Police Department observed Walter driving a silver 2002 Ford Taurus at Auten and SR 933 in Roseland, Ind.
A pursuit ensued into Michigan, which ended when Walter's vehicle met the Burgers'.
Police said Walter's vehicle continued for a short distance and then caught fire.
Walter was taken into custody by St. Joseph County (Ind.) Police and turned over to Michigan State Police troopers. He was transported to the Berrien County Jail for outstanding warrant related to his alleged crime spree, police said.
The crash and pursuit are being jointly handled by the St. Joseph County (Ind.) Police, Cass County Sheriff's Department and Michigan State Police.
Those agencies were assisted at the scene by the Roseland (ind.) Police Department, Edwardsburg-Ontwa Township Police, Niles Township Police, Niles City Police, Howard Township firefighters and Southwestern Michigan Community Ambulance Service.
Carl Burger suffered minor injuries resulting from the incident.