“I live in Detroit, and I know some people who were robbed by fake police officers, I was taught to find a well-lit area to pullover in.”
KOCHVILLE TOWNSHIP, MI — DaJuawn Wallace said he didn’t stop immediately when prompted by police at 2 a.m. Feb. 19 because he was taught to pull into a well-lit and safe area before doing so.
The Detroit native who is a commuter student pursuing a master’s degree at Saginaw Valley State University believes he did not commit a crime, since he pulled over in a Sam’s Club parking lot about 1.5 miles up the road from where police activated their lights.
The Saginaw County prosecutor’s office disagrees, however. Wallace faces one felony count of fleeing and eluding.
“I live in Detroit, and I know some people who were robbed by fake police officers,” Wallace said. “I was taught to find a well-lit area to pullover in.”
Wallace said he was making a store run to get medicine for his girlfriend when he saw headlights in his rearview mirror, accelerating behind him.
Wallace signaled and moved into the right lane to let the vehicle pass. The police car activated its lights and sirens to initiate a traffic stop.
“I was not speeding up, turning off my lights or trying to get away,” said Wallace, 24.
Police dash-cam video shows Wallace sticking his hand out the window and signaling. He said he did so to show police that he was going to pull over in the Sam’s Club parking lot
‘No attempt to pull over and stop’
Saginaw Valley State University Police Officer Leon Wilson wrote in his police report that he initiated a traffic stop on Wallace because his vehicle fit the description of a car that he observed driving on a sidewalk on the SVSU campus. Wilson lost sight of the vehicle.
“I was uncertain about the make and the model of the vehicle, but this vehicle looked like the same color and was leaving the immediate area,” Wilson wrote.
Wilson reported that after he turned flashing lights at the intersection of Bay and Liberty, Wallace continued southbound at about 35 miles per hour as he approached Kochville Road.
“The driver made no attempt to pull over and stop. I observed the driver stick his hands out of the window a couple of times. I did not see the driver throw anything from the vehicle, though it was dark and the road was poorly lit,” Wilson wrote.
Outside the Sam’s Club, police arrested Wallace on a charge of felony fleeing and eluding.