3 Michigan State Police troopers accused of excessive force in Owosso
Three troopers from the Michigan State Police Flint Post are facing assault charges after the arrest of a bicyclist in Owosso last August.
Troopers Ryan Fitzko, Cody Lukas and Justin Simpson appeared in Shiawassee County District Court for arraignment Friday. They are accused of using excessive force during the arrest.
Incident reports from the troopers say the bicyclist was riding in the traffic lanes of Clyde Street near Chipman Street on Aug. 24 without a visible light. Troopers say the bicyclist attempted to flee a traffic stop on the bicycle.
He stopped on Chipman Street near Freeman Street. Troopers say the bicyclist resisted arrest and kicked them.
The incident reports say troopers used a Taser several times, pepper spray and physical strikes to place the suspect, who was not identified, under arrest. They found fentanyl or heroin in the man's backpack.
The bicyclist was transported to Memorial Healthcare in Owosso for treatment of injuries related to the pepper spray and facial trauma.
All three troopers are facing one misdemeanor charge apiece of assault and battery, while Lukas also is charged with a felony of misconduct in office.
Michigan State Police say Lukas was suspended on Aug. 30 while Fitzko and Simpson were reassigned from road patrol duty. All three now are suspended without pay after criminal charges were issued.
"The use of excessive force by a Michigan State Police trooper against anyone is unacceptable and inexcusable," said Col. Joe Gasper, director of Michigan State Police.
The Owosso incident is the third case of excessive force to result in criminal charges against troopers from the Michigan State Police Third District, which includes much of Mid-Michigan, over the past year.
Trooper Paul Arrowood is accused of throwing a 28-year-old man to the ground and punching him after the man was seen walking in traffic on Webber Street in Saginaw on Sept. 4.
Trooper Bram Schroeder is accused of punching a man repeatedly during a traffic stop in Saginaw last March. A third alleged excessive force case against a trooper ended last week with no charges from the Saginaw County Prosecutor's Office.