Drunk driver admits New Year’s Eve tussle with police

Daniel Pepper, Staff Writer

A Grand Rapids man admitted he drove drunk, fled police and resisted arrest causing injury to an officer on New Year’s Day.

Lonnie Joseph Schaafsma, 36, pleaded guilty Monday, June 10, to one count of third-degree fleeing police, operating while intoxicated  third offense and assaulting/resisting/obstructing police causing injury as a third habitual offender.

“I believe I just didn’t stop,” Schaafsma said.

He entered the three guilty pleas Monday, June 10, in Allegan County Circuit Court.

Schaafsma told Judge Roberts Kengis the police car who’d stopped him in Gun Plain Township had been marked and the officer was in uniform and performing his official duties.

He said he’d been driving down US-131 and admitted his blood alcohol level had been above the legal limit because he’d been drinking beer.

Schaafsma admitted after he’d stopped he’d refused to roll over when an Allegan County Sheriff’s Office deputy told him to.

“I believe the deputy got hurt when they were arresting me,” he said. “I didn’t see it happen but I was told that one of the guys had been hurt.”

He also admitted he’d had drunk driving conditions in 2005 and 2008 substantiating the third offense and that he’d also committed two prior felonies including one of the drunk driving offenses and an attempted malicious destruction of property in 2009 for the habitual offender notice.

In return for the guilty plea, Allegan County prosecutors agreed to drop one count of assaulting/resisting/obstructing police causing injury and one count of assaulting/resisting/obstructing police.

Schaafsma was scheduled for sentencing Monday, Sept. 16, a 1 p.m. in Allegan County Circuit Court.

Contact Dan Pepper at dpepper@allegannews.com or at (269) 673-5534.


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