Standoff suspect charged in domestic assaults

Brandon Clements

MORLEY, Mich. (WOOD) — A domestic assault suspect who had threatened officers barricaded himself in a home east of Morley and stayed put all day, Mecosta County authorities say.

Brandon Clements, 39, of Vestaburg exited the house on Monroe Road near 125th Avenue and was taken into custody Wednesday night, the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office said. The was charged Thursday.

The incident started early Wednesday with an alleged domestic assault in a vehicle near Lakeview. Clements waited in the back seat of his ex-girlfriend’s car outside her place of work and then assaulted her, a Thursday release from the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office said. The 32-year-old woman was able to get out of the car and ran away. Clements took off in her car, authorities say.

Around 8:30 a.m., authorities got a tip that Clements may be at the victim’s home on Monroe Road. When officers arrived to check out the tip, they saw stolen car outside and surrounded the residence.

Mecosta County Sheriff Todd Purcell said the victim had received a text message from the suspect that read, “I have guns for cops if they come.”

Authorities responded with caution, bringing in Michigan State Police Special Response Team (SRT), which is like a SWAT team.

Police on the scene of a standoff near Morley. (Aug. 13, 2014)
(Police on the scene near the standoff. Aug. 13, 2014)

Around 1 p.m., neighbors said, officers knocked on their doors, told them there was a standoff situation and evacuated them.

“We were warned that something- the guy there was kind of crazy or whatever,” neighbor Dale Truman said.

It’s unclear exactly how many people were evacuated.

At one point as authorities tried to get Clements to give himself up, he exited the house, but then went back inside, Purcell said.

Later, officers fired tear gas into the residence. 24 Hour News 8 crews on the scene heard a total of about eight shots fired Wednesday afternoon and evening in the area. Purcell said at a press conference Wednesday night those shots were tear gas canisters being fired.

Clements then used the cellphone authorities had thrown into the house for negotiation purposes to call them and say he was giving up, Purcell said. He surrendered around 9:45 p.m.

Purcell said at the press conference that it was not yet known whether there were actually any guns in the house with the suspect. There was no one else in the home.

Clements was transferred to the custody of Montcalm County authorities.

He was already wanted on outstanding warrants for felony unlawful imprisonment, malicious destruction of property, felonious assault and operating while impaired.

Those stemmed from a June 16  assault complaint involving the same woman, who broke up with Clements several months ago “due to his assaultive behavior toward her,” according to the Thursday release from the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office.

In that case, authorities say, Clements rammed his ex-girlfriend’s car with his several times. She called 911 from a nearby gas station after getting away.

When an MSP trooper found Clements near where the alleged assault happened, he was believed to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He was taken to a hospital in Lakeview because he was complaining of pain and so authorities could obtain a blood sample for toxicology tests. Clements was then expected to be transferred to a Grand Rapids hospital. But after a deputy left the hospital, Clements walked away against medical advice, the sheriff’s office said.

Prosecutors issued felony warrants for the June 16 incident, but Clements never showed up for court.

“Sheriff’s Deputies have been looking for Clements since then; however, it was believed he was purposely evading law enforcement,” the release said.

Clements was arraigned Thursday on charges of unlawful imprisonment, which is a 10-year felony; malicious destruction of property, a five-year felony; felonious assault, a four-year felony; misdemeanor domestic violence; and auto theft.

He was denied bond.

Neighbors told 24 Hour News 8 the woman in whose home Clements was holed up has lived there about a year. They said there is a history of domestic calls to the residence, including one about a week ago.

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