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Posted on Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 3:27 p.m.

German man charged with driving drunk, causing injury gets $1 million bond

By John Counts

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A 62-year-old German man living in Ann Arbor on a temporary visa was arraigned Wednesday on a charge of operating while intoxicated causing injury after police said his vehicle crashed into a man trying to jump-start a car on the side of Jackson Road earlier this week.

Eckhard Karl Ludwig Fink remains in custody on a $1 million cash or surety bond. The high bond was set because Fink was scheduled to return to Germany in a few days and was considered a flight risk, said Sgt. Geoff Fox of the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office.

Fink is also charged with failure to stop at a personal injury accident because he walked away after the crash, but later came back, Fox said.

Fink was arraigned from the hospital, where he has been since Sunday's accident. No booking picture of him has been taken because he hasn't been processed through the jail. Fox said Fink suffered minor injuries from the accident, but remains in the hospital due to a previous medical condition.

Fink's blood alcohol content was not immediately known, but Fox said it was above the legal limit of .08 and below the "super drunk" level of .17.

Police said Fink was driving an older model sedan on Jackson Avenue near Staebler Road in Scio Township around 10:50 p.m. Sunday night when his vehicle smashed into a 41-year-old Ann Arbor man trying to jump-start a family member's car.

The 41-year-old suffered a broken leg as well as head and facial injures and was taken to the hospital in stable condition. He remains in the hospital, where he will undergo reconstruction surgery due to a broken jaw and facial bones, police said.

John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 2:38 a.m.

Who was the judge? Why couldn't he order the passport surrendered and set a reasonable bond?

A2 Sense 1959

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 12:18 a.m.

I know Eckhard, my neighbor, my friend! Never without a smile. I feel he made a tragic mistake! I prey for both family's!

Matt Cooper

Sat, Jul 13, 2013 : 2:38 a.m.

"Where is his presumption of innocence?" Bond, of any type, has exactly zip to do with presumption of innocence. It is used only as a means of assuring the defendants appearance at his next court date and nothing else.

Silly Sally

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 11:21 a.m.

Wow, in Texas, Illegal aliens do this all the time and high-tail it south of the border where they are untouchable. Germans would send him back if so requested, but not our southern neighbor. This is a fact, go check it out. They do not get a million dollar bond. More like a $100 bond.

Silly Sally

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 11:20 a.m.

Take away his passport, we are treating him like a third word country. Where is his presumption of innocence?


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 2:28 a.m.

families, not family's

Matt Cooper

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 1:07 a.m.

*pray, not prey.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 10:42 p.m.

As other have noted and asked, why Fink is in the hospital. I understand that he had previous medical injuries, but did Fink's car collide into the victim, the victim's car, or both?

Silly Sally

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 11:15 a.m.

Yes, that is my question. Was the man jumping his car out in the road, or were both of the cars being jumped in the road with lights on and Fink thought they were part of traffic, and he may have been slightly under the influence. Why does the police report not state the blood alcohol level?

Jack Gladney

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 10:20 p.m.

It seems like the surrender of his passport would be a condition of bail regardless of the dollar amount at which it was set, although a cool million would be nice in the county coffers when times are tight.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 4:14 p.m.

The story doesn't say that the court required it, but the surrender of a passport is customary when a citizen of another country is charged with this serious of an offense. Heck, the surrender of a citizen's passport is required.. Just ask Kwame. Plus, a million dollar bail doesn't mean the defendant has actually deposited the money with the court. Instead, a bail bondsman guarantees payment to the court if the defendant fails to appear.

John Counts

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 9:34 p.m.

They are both in the hospital. Fink, the only person charged with a crime here, was arraigned from the hospital, where he continues to stay not from injuries sustained in the accident, but from a previous medical condition, as specified in the article. There is one sentence that says "The man was arraigned from the hospital" that seems to be confusing some. At that point in the story, Fink is the only "man" that has been introduced.

John Counts

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 10:29 p.m.

Fair enough. I've made a few changes for the sake of clarity -- and to steer the discussion back toward the content of the story.

Jack Gladney

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 10:09 p.m.

John, I know how much you love armchair editors, but two men are introduced in the first paragraph (Mr. Fink and the unnamed victim). Easy fix: At the beginning of paragraph four, change" The" to "He" or "Fink." It is confusing as presented.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 8:21 p.m.

Did anyone actually read the article? I'm not trying to make trouble here but the questions in the previous comments are answered in the article.

John Counts

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 9:42 p.m.

That typo has been fixed.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 9:29 p.m.

@ WalkingJoe, no worries here. Also note that he "was been" there, so maybe he isn't there?


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 9:27 p.m.

treetowncartel, my bad. Just went back to the article and you are right. It keeps saying the man is in the hospital but doesn't say it's Fink. So it is somewhat confusing. Sorry all.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 9:05 p.m.

I'll admit being guilty of a few misreads, still, can't see anything in this one that would suggest the driver, Fink, who hit the man, the victim, would need to be in the hospital in order to be arraigned from the hospital. "The man was arraigned from the hospital, where he was been since Sunday's accident."


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 8:40 p.m.

JBK, I think you're on to something. LOL ;-)


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 8:33 p.m.

Walking Joe - Oh please! Does anyone ever read the article? They immediately jump to the comment section to see who got the thumbs up and thumbs down. lol :) That way they know which comments to read. IMO

John of Saline

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 7:57 p.m.

They must think he'll bolt.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 11:12 a.m.

"The high bond was set because Fink was scheduled to return to Germany in a few days and was considered a flight risk..." Ya think?


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 8:01 p.m.

And they would be correct in that thinking


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 7:48 p.m.

Why is Fink in the hospital?