Teens arraigned on felony charges following police pursuit

Published 2:29 pm Wednesday, December 2, 2020

NILES — Two Niles teens were arraigned in Berrien County Court Wednesday on felony charges following a Tuesday afternoon police pursuit.

One 17-year-old male was charged with possession of a stolen firearm, a felony carrying a potential sentence of 10 years in prison, tampering with evidence, a four-year felony, felony firearm, a consecutive two-year felony, and resisting and obstructing a police officer, a two-year felony. His bond was set at $5,000.

A second 17-year-old male was charged third-degree fleeing and eluding police, a felony that carries a potential sentence of five years in prison. His bond was set at $2,500.

In accordance with Michigan law, both teens are being charged as adults.

The charges stem from a Tuesday afternoon a vehicle pursuit and crash in the city of Niles.

The incident occurred around 1:40 a.m. Tuesday after a vehicle fled a Niles city police officer attempting to conduct a traffic stop for a registration violation. The vehicle fled north on M-51 heading out of the city limits, with the officer in pursuit.

The fleeing vehicle lost control near Pucker Street, causing the vehicle to go off road and crash down the steep river embankment. Four male occupants got out of the crashed vehicle, and the pursuing officer saw one of the occupants throw a firearm into the river.

This same occupant jumped into the river in an attempt to escape.

All four occupants were eventually detained by police. Two of the occupants were taken to a local hospital to be evaluated for minor injuries, while the other two were lodged at the Niles Police Department facing criminal charges. The firearm that was thrown into the river by one of the occupants was recovered by police, at which point officers discovered the firearm to have been reported stolen.

Both of the arrested teens are next scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 9.