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Posted on Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 10:17 a.m.

Police release video of drunken driver hitting officer at Burger King drive-thru

By John Counts


Robert Addie

Courtesy of WCSO

Police recently released the video of a 39-year-old Ypsilanti man swiping a Pittsfield Township police officer in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant last winter.

Robert Addie had a blood alcohol content of .25 and was considered "super drunk" by Michigan law when he went through the Burger King drive-thru on Michigan Avenue across the street from the Pittsfield Township police department at 1:38 p.m. on Valentine's Day.

Police said they were called to the restaurant because Addie and another man in the 2003 Ford Taurus were "causing a disturbance with employees."

A minute-long video recently obtained from the Pittsfield Township Department of Public Safety via a Freedom of Information Act request shows one officer talking to the passenger in the Taurus as its parked at the drive-thru window while another officer stands in front of the vehicle.

As the officer in front of the car tries directing the vehicle to pull over to the side of the parking lot, Addie makes a break for it, swiping the officer who stumbles and falls to the ground.

When Addie was sentenced 2-5 years in prison last week, the prosecution and defense had two different versions about what happened.

Assistant Washtenaw County Prosecutor John Vella pointed out Addie was a serial drunken driver and portrayed the incident as being one step away from something more serious. He said Addie might have faced stiffer charges had the officers not gotten out of the way.

"Otherwise, this may have been a murder case," he said.

Assistant Washtenaw County Public Defender Christopher Renna said Addie didn't aim the car at the Pittsfield Township police officer.

"(The officer) had an instinct to stand in front of the car to stop it from going forward," he said. "This is a knee scrape."

After hearing the arguments, Judge David Swartz sentenced Addie to 2 to 5 years on operating while intoxicated, third offense, 2 to 4 years on one count of assault with a dangerous weapon and 1 to 2 years on resisting arrest charges. The sentences will run concurrently.

In previous court proceedings, it was revealed Addie also was convicted of drunken driving in 1994, 1999, 2001 and 2006.

The remainder of the video shows police following Addie down Michigan Avenue, where patrol vehicles swarm his in front of the police station. He resisted, but was subdued and arrested on the spot.

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



Sun, Jul 14, 2013 : 4:04 p.m.

stupid drunken moron.maybe 18-20 years would settle him down/


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 4:40 p.m.

Question: Can the officers remove the driver from the vehicle and move it themselves?


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 10:35 a.m.

Yes, let's arrest the guy because a police officer jumped in front of his car.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 11:22 a.m.

Well, he really should be arrested for drunk driving and failing to follow the police officer's orders. Maybe reckless driving too. What we will likely see, however, are charges of assault, attempted murder, etc. Those are highly questionable in light of the video. That said, the drunk was very lucky. Often, in some areas, the sentence for even thinking about physically contacting a police officer is the death penalty immediately imposed on the scene.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 3:09 a.m.

Why doesn't that Burger King instal a play land for kids? They don't even have baby changing tables in the bathrooms. Errr....


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 11:17 a.m.

If the drunk driver had stopped and played in the play land long enough he might have sobered up. The changing tables would probably not have helped.

Matt Cooper

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 12:28 a.m.

Just wanted to point out, for those that claim the officer "jumped in front of the car", that the officer was in front of the car the entire time from the start of the video until he falls down after contact with the moving vehicle. It's not like Addie didn't see him, or somehow had an obstructed view. He could clearly see everything in front of him, including the cop. He was being ordered to pull over and flat out refused to follow that order and tried to get away without a moment regard for the safety of that officer or anyone else. The responsibility for this incident, regardless of where the cop was positioned, rests solely with Mr. Addie.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 5 p.m.

TOTALLY agree. I'd vote you up a bajillion times if I could!!!


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 11:16 a.m.

Don't believe your lying eyes. Right?


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 11:26 p.m.

I'd make it 5-to-1 for 175,00 YouTube hits by the weekend.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 10:49 p.m.

Does have the rest of the video? Do they have the arrest of the individual? Were there any complaint of brutality during the arrest? Was there any "retaliation" exercised upon his arrest? The fleeing driver is responsible if the officer gets hurt but the charges seem to cover the incident. If the officer standing in front of a car is not against the department's policies, perhaps it should be.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 10:25 p.m.

It looked to me as if the officer was directing (with his arms) the driver to pull over to the right in the parking area. The driver didn't, he just swerved a little toward the policeman, then kept going. I would say the officer was very lucky. I also agree with those who said Addle should have been found a habitual criminal and sentenced for at least 20 years without early release!!


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 9:58 p.m.

The officer plainly made a mistake in briefly trying to stop the drunken guy by stepping briefly in front of his car as it begins to accelerate out of the drive-thru lane, but that hardly lessens the drunk's culpability for apparently trying to run the officer down. This guy is lucky he didn't kill or seriously maim the officer, and therefore extremely lucky the sentence was only 2 - 5 years. This behavior could very easily have led to a murder charge, as the prosecutor noted. This conviction was this 39-year old's fifth conviction for drunken driving since the age of 20? Wow! I'm seldom one to call for increased sentences, but 2-5 seems light in this case.


Sun, Jul 14, 2013 : 4:06 p.m.

5th conviction huh.sure seems habitual to me

Jacob Bodnar

Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 9:58 p.m.

"In previous court proceedings, it was revealed Addie also was convicted of drunken driving in 1994, 1999, 2001 and 2006." So, why does this guy still have a license...


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 4:57 p.m.

Jacob, the system is broken. However, i seriously doubt that taking his license away is going to accomplish anything. he's not going to let a little thing like not having a license get in the way of his "right" to drive a car!


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 8:21 p.m.

Uncle Crump used to do this kind of thing when he got liquored up, go out in the road with a red tablecloth and play bullfighter with the oncoming cars. Lord, he loved that tablecloth. He finally got arthritis real bad in his hips and we had to put him down.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 9:05 p.m.

Thanks nick for the laugh blast, I needed's been one of those day......keep it up!


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 8:02 p.m.

Just a question. Why does the site allow 'advertorials'? They are scams, pure and simple, criminal activity, just as much as any mugging.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 7:58 p.m.

Kind of feel bad for the officer. That video is ripe for integrating into police officer training classes as what not to do when stopping a drunk driver.

A A Resident

Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 7:35 p.m.

Uhm yes. The path the vehicle was taking would have cleared the officer, had the officer not stepped in front of the moving vehicle. Whether the driver was failing to follow instructions, I can't tell. However that may be, it doesn't appear to have been a very wise move by the officer.

A A Resident

Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 8:24 p.m.

"When you have a car accelerating at you from a few feet away, it's not easy to get out of the way." Let's see, should I step a little further away from the the path of the car, or into it's path? The last time it happened to me, I chose the former. And if I suspected that the driver was intoxicated, I wouldn't place myself near the front of the car in the first place.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 8:07 p.m.

It looks more like the officer is panicking and trying to figure out which direction to move in order to not be hit by a couple thousand pounds of steel. It doesn't look like he's making the conscious decision to be in front of the car. When you have a car accelerating at you from a few feet away, it's not easy to get out of the way. The comments being made seem to go on the same principle as the "charging" rule in basketball: the officer's feet were moving so he must be the one to blame for the collision.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 7:28 p.m.

wow he clearly hit the officer and needs to be punished for that, that was wrong,

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 7:27 p.m.

It is good that this didn't end in any serious injuries or deaths. Often police will shoot at a driver in that situation, because they are being attacked with a deadly weapon. In some cities it gets so frequent that they pass laws prohibiting police from shooting at drivers under those conditions. They found some police were needlessly putting themselves in the path of the vehicle and then using it as justification for shooting.

Nicholas Urfe

Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 12:53 p.m.

Turns out it wasn't a law, but a rule. The rules are used in determining whether a shooting is justified. If you go back to the history of the rule change you'll find that the numbers of shooting caused the change, with reports of police intentionally moving into the path of a vehicle. The rules seem to require the police to move out of the way, rather than just start shooting. Here are a few policy examples:


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 12:52 a.m.

Is this really so frequent that cities are passing laws? I'd like to read more about that. Can you post some links? I've been unsuccessful in my google searches finding any references to police frequently and needlessly putting themselves in the path of vehicles so they can shoot the drivers.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 7:23 p.m.

I would like to know if he went to jail and for how long stemming from the other drunk driving convictions.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 7:19 p.m.



Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 7:18 p.m.

how is it that he had already been convicted 4 times and he has a license to drive? why is he not in prison for being a repeat offender? this guy shouldn't be allowed on the street in a car unless he is riding. good that no child or innocent voctim was killed when he peeled out of the parking lot throw his worthless butt in jail for 20 years. this guy doesn't learn from his mistakes he makes worse mistakes as his life goes on.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 4:51 p.m.

max, this is a classic example of a system that is TRASHED.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 7:18 p.m.

Title should say Police officer jumps in front moving vehicle.. ijs


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 7:16 p.m.

In fact, the dude's lucky the officer didn't pull his pistol and let him have it........


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 10:08 a.m.

A police officer cannot simply shoot a citizen of this country because he didn't stop when asked. Drunk or not, the man has rights, as hard as that concept might be to swallow.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 7:15 p.m.

Maybe that'll give the chump some time to dry out.....


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 4:46 p.m.

Obviousman here: Is it just me, or does the video suggest that the officer stepped in front of a moving vehicle?


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 7:19 p.m.

It looked to me like the officer thought the car was going to go to the right and tried to get out of that path, then the driver went straight, instead.

Honest Abe

Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 4:29 p.m.

Addie also has been convicted for domestic violence, receiving stolen property twice.


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 4:48 p.m.

Wow. What a prince!!


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 6:17 p.m.

OTIS is your friend.

Honest Abe

Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 4:24 p.m.

I'm curious to see the rest of the video. Sounds like that cop almost blew the engine trying to get that guy! Although I don't much blame him.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 4:31 p.m.

and he wasn't going fast at all from the way it looked. He may have had it in first gear or something.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 4:22 p.m.

It looks to me like the officer panicked and moved to try to stop the car....with his body. Theres a whole lotta what not to do on both sides here folks. I'm certainly not condoning the drunk driver fleeing but the officer made a mistake pure and simple.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 4:08 p.m.

Why does the video end before he is 'subdued?'


Thu, Jun 20, 2013 : 4:47 p.m.

good question, Peter, I for one would have enjoyed seeing this loser get "cuffed and stuffed"!

Basic Bob

Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 4:24 p.m.

Probably not covered by the FOI request, or withheld for liability reasons.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 3:43 p.m.

Are we watching the same video? It looks like the officer jumps in front of the car to me.

The Infinite Jester

Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 3:32 p.m.

Why did he have a license when he was already convicted of drunk driving four times in the past?


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 3:57 p.m.

I was wondering the same thing. I looked at the dates again and noticed that there is quite a few years between most of them. Maybe enough time to convince the state he'd turned over a new leaf and it would never happen again. What's that saying? "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice......" Thankfully no one was killed.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 3:28 p.m.

I believe the onus is on the driver not to hit the police officer. Any police officer. Any pedestrian. Basic stuff.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 4:29 p.m.

and what if they walk/run/jump out in front of you?

Basic Bob

Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 4:22 p.m.

They must have revised the Safety Town course since I took it. I was taught to look both ways and not walk in front of cars ever.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 3:08 p.m.

I can see both sides argument from the video


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 3:03 p.m.

"(The officer) had an instinct to stand in front of the car to stop it from going forward," per the video, this looks to be a pretty accurate statement. of course the officer wouldn't have been there in the first place had this guy not be driving.

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 2:46 p.m.

two words come to mind..... onion rings. Burger King has them, McDonald's doesn't.

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 2:55 p.m.

gimme a few minutes to think about that one.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 2:53 p.m. there any kind of food you don't like ? :)


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 2:44 p.m.

Glad he'll be off the road for the next few years.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 4:37 p.m.

Unfortunately, he'll probably drive illegally after getting out, without a license or insurance.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 2:43 p.m.

I have been trying and trying, but there is no way to suggest that the cop shouldn't have jumped in front of the car without sounding like I'm taking Addie's side.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 4:32 p.m.

Regardless of what the officer did he was being directed to pull over. The driver continued to drive even w the officer in front of his car.

Basic Bob

Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 4:20 p.m.

Self preservation is an admirable characteristic.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 4:01 p.m.

I'm shocked that this comment is allowed to stand. I was censored yesterday for making a similar suggestion regarding another situation. I don't see the problem with stating that sometimes people seem to take a "I dare you to do it." attitude.


Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 3:15 p.m.

You are correct sir!!

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Jun 19, 2013 : 2:46 p.m.

agreed, I was thinking the same thing.