Perrigo carjacking leads to standoff, arrest

A 39-year-old Plainwell area man apparently stole a utility van from a Perrigo parking lot in Allegan, crashed the vehicle, then led police on a foot chase and standoff that ended in his arrest Tuesday, Feb. 12.

The suspect, with an extensive criminal history, broke a window of a vehicle in Perrigo’s parking lot but was confronted by an employee. The suspect ran across the street brandishing a gun and attempted to take an occupied semi-truck; however, the semi driver drove off, according to Allegan Police Chief Rick Hoyer who responded as part of the SWAT team.

The man then found a Buist Electric utility van unoccupied and drove off with it. He crashed the van into a tree on 108th Avenue near 26th Street at about 2:20 p.m. He fled on foot to a pole barn where he tried to steal a tractor but crashed it inside the barn.

The man then fled on foot to a wooded area where a K-9 unit located him and told him to show his hands and surrender. The man then claimed to be holding a bomb.

After two hours of negotiations, the suspect was taken into custody, transported to Borgess Hospital and released to the Allegan County Jail. No weapons were found on the suspect.

Hoyer said the man admitted using methamphetatmine, had mental health issues and was hallucinating.

“Out negotiator did an excellent job,” Hoyer said. “It truly was the best outcome given that mental health issues and meth are the worst combinations.”

Perrigo was locked down for employee safety as the incident unfolded. Streets in the vicinity around the crash and standoff were also blocked.

The suspect is wanted in Barry County for fleeing and eluding and in Lansing for cutting his parole tether. Paroled over a year ago, he also spent 10 years in a Colorado prison for fleeing and eluding. His name is not being released pending arraignment.

Perrigo Security, Allegan Police Department, Allegan County Sheriff’s Department and the Michigan State Police all assisted at the scene.

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