CADILLAC, MI — Two men are behind bars facing multiple charges after police say a night of drunken revelry ended in the pair allegedly driving away in a newspaper delivery truck as bundles of papers flew out the back.
Cadillac police were dispatched at 11:17 p.m. Friday, March 21, to 30 Road west of Old U.S. 31 in Haring Township after a nearby resident looked outside and saw a Cadillac News delivery truck on the side of the road. The truck was resting up against a snow bank with the back end wide open, Lt. Todd Golnick said.
Police arrived on scene and began investigating. They discovered the delivery truck on a two-track off 30 Road. A Wexford County canine team began looking for the driver.
During that time, a woman stopped and told police she saw a man she recognized driving the news truck minutes earlier and knew something was wrong. He did not work for the newspaper.
She identified him for police, who tracked him and another passenger down in a wooded area nearby within about 45 minutes, Golnick said.
Investigators believe the men had been drinking together and were dropped off by a friend in Haring Township. They began walking and came across the Cadillac News truck being loaded in the newspaper’s parking lot.
The men, ages 24 and 19, allegedly got in and drove off with the back end open and the lift gate down. Newspaper bundles were falling out as they continued on, in a vehicle that wasn’t exactly discreet, Golnick said.
Officers took the men into custody and discovered an open bottle of Bicardi Rum inside. The driver also had a knife in his possession.
Once inside the police car, the driver injured his face while “throwing” it up against caging in the patrol vehicle, Golnick said.
He was taken to the hospital for treatment and ultimately assaulted a lab technician during a blood draw, said Golnick.
“It’s just one bad decision after another,” Golnick said, adding that he wasn’t sure if the two were actually trying to get somewhere in the truck or just intended to take a joyride.
The passenger, Anthony Phillip Williams II, 19, of Cadillac, was arraigned Monday morning in Wexford County District Court. He was charged as a second-time offender with unlawful driving of a motor vehicle, having open intoxicants and being a minor in possession of alcohol.
The driver was expected to be arraigned later Monday on charges of carrying a concealed weapon, second offense operating while intoxicated, motor vehicle theft, assault, and having open intoxicants.
The back end of the news truck sustained some damage due to the lift gate being down during the estimated four-mile drive, Golnick said.