Brothers charged in alleged roadside attack on MSP trooper

Michael Barber, Travis Wise
Michael Barber (left) and Travis Wise in court via video for arraignment. (Courtesy WNDU - Feb. 21, 2017)

BERRIEN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Two brothers accused of attacking a Michigan State Police trooper during a traffic stop in Berrien County are now charged with multiple felonies.

Authorities say Trooper Garry Guild tried to pull over a speeding motorcycle around 9 a.m. Monday on the US-31 bypass near Matthew Road in Berrien Township.

MSP said the driver, 21-year-old Michael Scott Barber of Gobles, didn’t have a license. He allegedly stopped but then took off, reentering the highway.

MSP said Barber lost control of his motorcycle in a patch of land near an exit ramp and crashed.

MSP Trooper Garry Guild
MSP Trooper Garry Guild. (Courtesy WNDU – Feb. 21, 2017)

“He appeared dazed,” Guild told WNDU, the NBC affiliate out of South Bend, Ind.

But the trooper said Barber then charged him.

As the trooper wrestled the suspect, MSP said a vehicle stopped and the suspect’s 19-year-old brother got out and began attacking Guild. MSP said the brother, 19-year-old Travis Tyler Wise of Middlebury, Indiana, tried to choke Guild as Barber punched the trooper in the face.

Guild told WNDU that Wise went for his gun after it fell out of his holster. He said he was concerned that he may have to get his second gun and use deadly force.

But then, Jerry Burnham came upon the scene. He and his wife were driving past.

“My wife’s like, ‘There’s an officer out there,’ and then she started yelling that he needed help and told us to stop, so that’s what we did,’ Burnham told WNDU.

Jerry Burnham
Good Samaritan Jerry Burnham. (Courtesy WNDU – Feb. 21, 2017)

Burnham and another good Samaritan ran to help Guild. They subdued Wise as Guild held Barber down. It took the help of three other police agencies to take both men into custody, MSP said.

“Officer Guild, he risks his life every day, and when you see somebody in need of help, you need to do your part as a citizen, too,” Burnham told WNDU.

Trooper Guild was taken to a nearby hospital where he was treated for minor injuries and released. WNDU reports he has returned to work.

Authorities determined the motorcycle Barber was riding had been stolen out of Van Buren County; they’re trying to determine if the brothers are connected to several other break-ins.

Barber is charged with five felonies, including assault by strangulation; third-degree fleeing and eluding; resisting and obstructing a police officer, causing injury; receiving and concealing a stolen vehicle; and attempt at disarming a police officer.

Wise is charged with assault by strangulation; obstruction of justice; resisting and obstructing a police officer, causing injury; and attempting to disarm a police officer.