A Michigan police officer in the town of Wyoming has learned the meaning of “look before you leap” after he became an unwitting victim of a booby trap set up outside of a medical marijuana grow operation.
WPD Officer Dustin Cook was looking around the property on Sunday after receiving reports of a possible break-in at the establishment. Scaling a gate to reach a broken window, he landed on a sheet of plywood covered with 100 three-inch decking screws, impaling his feet.
“He had three of these things go into his feet,’’ WPD Chief James Carmody said as he showed 12News crews one of the decking screws. “One in one heel and two in the other foot. One went through the center of his foot and did some damage to one of the tendons.’’
The incident was an unfortunate result of an attempted theft at the facility at 1:30 AM the same day, when two masked men in black entered the facility by breaking a rear window.
The suspects, 19-year-olds Tyquan K. Hassel and Andre D. Sims were arrested shortly after, with one of them tossing a handgun during the pursuit. They face a combined 25 years in prison if convicted.
“The two individuals we caught coming out of that building obviously knew what was in there,’’ Carmody said. “They went in to get (marijuana) and they were going to sell it on the street.
A shakedown of the grow operation led authorities to discover far more plants than the operation was authorized to grow, with 90 mature plants in the facility.
Chief Carmody can’t seem to wrap his head around why the grower felt a need to set up booby traps when he has an alarm system.
“We responded to that alarm,’’ Carmody said. “Did they not think that we might not walk around the perimeter of that building to try to access the building? For some reason, the moron that put it down there didn’t quite make that connection.’’
Meanwhile, the Chief says his six-year-veteran of the force is in a lot of pain.
“I was very angry; and when I went to the hospital I was even more angry,’’ Carmody said. “He’s a good officer, a hard-working officer and he’s been taken out of the field because of this idiot’s work.’’
Prosecutors are looking for ways to punish the growers for setting up the traps, but existing laws don’t cover a punji stake-style trap on private property.
“We are looking into it, but it’s not something that’s readily apparent,’’ said Kent County prosecutor Chris Becker said.
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