K-9 bites suspect after hours-long standoff

Raymond Bettison is taken into police custody after being bitten by a police K-9 following a six-hour standoff on Diamond Avenue in Grand Rapids. (March 16, 2016)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A wanted man who was involved in an hours-long standoff in northeast Grand Rapids Wednesday was taken into custody after being bitten by a police K-9.

The man was barricaded in a house in the 1700 block of Diamond Avenue NE between Leonard and Knapp Streets, according to the Grand Rapids Police Department.

GRPD Sgt. Terry Dixon said officers tried unsuccessfully to negotiate with the man for about five hours before eventually going into the house. Once inside, they couldn’t immediately find the man. They also checked and adjoining duplex, thinking the man may have made it there through the attic, but he wasn’t there, either.

They they approached the attic itself and made more announcements, hoping that if the suspect was there, he would give up peacefully.

When they got no response, they sent in a K-9 as “precautionary measure,” Dixon said. The dog soon found the suspect and bit his leg, at which point the suspect gave up. That was around 6:30 p.m.

The suspect, identified by Dixon as 45-year-old Raymond Bettison, was taken to Mercy Health Saint Mary’s for treatment, after which police said he would be jailed.

A May 12, 2015 mug shot of Raymond Bettison from the Kent County Correctional Facility.
A May 12, 2015 mug shot of Raymond Bettison from the Kent County Correctional Facility.

Bettison was wanted on outstanding warrants out of Allegan County for five weapons charges, which included being a felon in possession of a weapon and ammunition and carrying a concealed weapon. Those offenses happened in September 2015, online records show.

Dixon said Bettison had been staying at the home on Diamond. The FBI Fugitive Task Force was alerted he might be there around 12:15 p.m. Wednesday. When they checked it out, they spotted Bettison. Police responded, at which point the standoff started.

The Kent County Prosecutor’s Office will charge Bettison with third-degree home invasion, resisting and obstructing and driving while license suspended. He could be arraigned in the 61st District Court in Grand Rapids as early as Thursday afternoon.

Eventually, GRPD said, Bettison will return to Allegan County to face charges there.

Online Michigan State Police records show Bettison served about 20 years in a state prison for a 1992 charge of assault with intent to commit murder out of Kent County and was discharged from the system in October 2013. In 2012, he served jail time after pleading guilty to felony malicious destruction of property.

His criminal record also included a few drug charges from the early 1990s.

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