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Posted on Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 3:34 p.m.

Individual hospitalized after 'mental health' response blockades traffic in Ann Arbor

By Sven Gustafson

Police responded in numbers to the scene of a mental health issue on New Year's Eve in Ann Arbor, making it the second such incident in the city this holiday season.

Ann Arbor Police spokeswoman Lt. Renee Bush said only that police responded to a mental health issue near Packard and Eisenhower and that "someone was taken to the hospital." The individual did not harm anyone, she said.

Two readers emailed overnight asking about a sizable police presence that blocked traffic at Packard and Eisenhower and made for tricky navigating.

Lee Stutesman, who lives near the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti border, said she was driving home with her kids around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday when she encountered the blockade.

"They had the side roads gated off, I was having trouble getting home," she said. "I had the kids with me and every time I tried to get on Packard, I couldn't."

Another reader who said he was driving home around 1 a.m. reported seeing "what looked like a SWAT team" near a bank on the corner, "a group of officers and several vehicles, including what looked like an armored carrier on a flatbed."

On Dec. 23, police, a SWAT team and crisis negotiators used flash bang grenades to end a daylong standoff with a suicidal man in the Chapel Hill neighborhood of northeast Ann Arbor.


Boo Radley

Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 8:40 p.m.

Police work has always been one of those occupations which persons who have never done it or been trained in it know best how to do it. I think it is because there are so many cop shows on TV, it makes everyone an expert .... or maybe at least everyone stayed at a Holiday Inn Express the night before.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 1:46 p.m.

Why do I always expect that when anything happens with the police there will be armchair cops commenting when they have zero experience in law enforcement and have zero information ? such as the deputy who had a accident a week or two ago ( yea you see a lot of kids making snow angel's at 12:00 at night ) not one person who made critical comments knew anything about details and knew zero,zipp,nada of what traffic is like on Maus st at 11:59 pm. Well, I do know why I always expect it I guess


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 1:01 p.m.

Quote from commenter "Ryan," above: "You do not need an armored personnel carrier worth of soldiers/police to deal with a mental health case! (Unless they have hostages) . . ." One could easily imagine the scenario as a potential hostage situation, given that the event occurred at Mulberry Row apartments, as reported by commenter "detroit buckets." Many innocent residents and families were potentially at risk, in a densely populated environment. I am grateful for a well-equipped response to a potentially lethal situation in this circumstance. We have seen numerous recent tragedies in circumstances where assault weapons in the hands of body-armored mentally ill resulted in mass murder of innocents. Thank you to law enforcement for your appropriate and well-equipped response. Thank you also for resolving the issue in a peaceful manner.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 4:14 p.m.

Your statement - until confirmed with details by those responsible - is speculative. We DON'T KNOW why the cops appeared in force at the location. "We showed up in force for a reason" is not really A REASON for showing up. What it is: an appeal to us to trust "government" to always to do the right, appropriate thing. "Police spokeswoman Lt. Renee Bush said only that police responded to a mental health issue..." is NOT an explanation. It's not an explanation for spending $XX dollars and putting XX number of police in a neighborhood with REAL assault rifles and other deadly weapons. has a responsibility to get the details FOR US -- but noooo. "not one person who made critical comments knew anything about details..." Right, and that includes YOU, another kind of person who "trusts" in too little information. :-)


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 5:55 a.m.

Okay: hope everyone's recovered from New Year's Eve. But I wonder because I see comments indicating "fear" of the massive (para military) police presence described by many witnesses. in this "story." Well - as usual - we should remember that's journalistic resources have given NO indication of WHAT sparked the police response. "Police spokeswoman Lt. Renee Bush said only that police responded to a mental health issue..." Okay - so our usual police spokesperson chose to be vague (causing's vagueness). It's a two-target opportunity for blame. If AAPD is going to spend THAT MUCH money on an operation: their spokesperson had better have a clear reason ready for the reporters and for US. Maybe this would be a good time for our stalwart mayor and city counsel TO MENTION THIS to AAPD command. Note to AAPD: if you're giong to continue to EXPECT the respect and compliance from Ann Arbor citizens you've been getting - then you'd BETTER understand we will not tolerate "BLACK OPS" IN OUR TOWN!! Now lets everyone stand down for a day or two: our mayor, city council and most of all our police chief may want to CLARIFY the reason for the police black ops on Packard Dec. 31st. Tick-tock, tick-tock.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 1:46 a.m.

Naturally a family member comes to mind for many commenters when reading a story with this kind of headline. Some better description might forestall unnecessary phone contact.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 12:29 a.m.

I thank "Detroit Buckets" for the summary - which is far more detailed than this "news" item which made it sound like the biggest problem here was the inconvenience for motorist Lee Stutesman.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 12:11 a.m.

Again? Seriously? SWAT teams and armored personnel carriers are not for use in issues like these! They are for use against barricaded bank robbers, armed drug dealers/gangsters, hostage situations, etc.. Once again, massive overkill is becoming the order of the day. Once again I will state that these military tactics and equipment are not for use against ordinary civilians! You do not need an armored personnel carrier worth of soldiers/police to deal with a mental health case! (Unless they have hostages) How do I know, you ask ? Because we used the same type of equipment and tactics against houses full of armed insurgents when I was in Iraq. The picturesand descriptions I see in the news remind me of how I dressed while patrolling the streets of Baqouba, Iraq in 2004. When ordinary citizens can no longer distinguish between police and soldiers because their tactics and equipment are the same then there is a problem looming. Escalation of force by police is becoming a rather large problem I woul dare say, even here in beautiful little Ann Arbor. Welcome to the new normal.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 1:04 p.m.

A2vet, I would like to address what you said: According to the FBI ( in 2011, 72 police officers in the entire U.S were killed in the line of duty, 5 of whom were in Michigan. 72 officers, in 50 states, out of a population of 300 miliion plus people and roughly 765,000 sworn police officers. ( 2011 is generally acknowledged as a bad year for LEO deaths yet the actual number of incidents is extremely low. I hear arguments about offcier safety all the time as a justification as to why police are dressed like soldiers but the numbers don't add up to support the argument. How many officers died in the line of duty in A2 last year? None; the last A2 cop to die in the line of duty was in 1963 of a heart attack. The only one to be murdered in the line of duty was Officer Clifford Stang in 1935. That's right, 1935. There have been 4 on duty deaths in the entire history of the A2 PD. Why do you need assault rifles, tracked vehicles, flashbang grenades, etc. again? The bottom line is that police are not soldiers, should not dress like them, and certainly should not be carrying around assault rifles, body armor, and rolling around in APC's in American neighborhoods.. period.The arguments used to support such massive over militarization of our police is faulty and just not true either. If things are bad enough that they require soldiers then by all means bring in the soldiers... in the proper manner prescribed by law instead of dressing police like soldiers and using them against your own people in a manner they are not suited for. If you want to be Billy Bad Butt and carry a rifle and wear body armor then join the Army and kick in the doors of our nation's enemies.. not the doors of mentally ill citizens who are only threatening to hurt themselves.

a2 vet

Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 5:56 a.m.

Ryan....since you have never been a police officer, you don't know what your talking about. how do I know? Because not only have I been a Civilian LEO for over 22 years, I have also been mobilized as a military reservist for OIF (twice) and OEF once. Specialized teams with specialized equipment are used in civilian law enforcement to prevent the loss of life for the subject, civilians and law enforcement officers. The difference with what you experience was is that the military uses these tactics to assault a target. Civilian LE uses these tactics to contain a dangerous situation and an actual assault is a last resort emergency option. police officers are killed each year by suicidal persons. if the use of swat saves the life of the officer, the suicidal person and or members of the general public, then the use is well worth it. Don't compare war tactics to civilian LE don't really have the experience base to speak on the topic because you only know the military use and not the civilian use .


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 2:52 a.m.

Welcome to the new US. It's invisible until you turn around.

Tom Todd

Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 1:06 a.m.

that we accept crazy


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 1 a.m.

Chris - Amen to your comment! I served 4 years in then USAF back in the lat 70s / early 80s. We were NOT allowed to leave the base under any circumstnces in our combat fatigues because it suggested we lived in a POLICE state. NOW, when I travel for business, etc.. I see all military members wearing their combat fatigues which is kind of scary. It would suggest that the US has moved to a military state, such as Iraq, Iran, etc... What is the point of active duty military wearing fatigue in airports, restaurants, sporting events, etc....? What kind of message are we sending?


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 12:48 a.m.

That's the scary part - that we're starting to accept this as normal.

Linda Peck

Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 11:49 p.m.

I am thankful no guns were fired and no one died. I am thankful for the expert police force!

detroit buckets

Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 10:55 p.m.

This all took place last night starting around 11:45. I live upstairs at Mulberry Row apts (just east of where Packard and Eisenhower split up). I heard a large sounding engine idling downstairs. Pretty common for people to sit there for a while with engine running so I didn't think much of it at first. But finally I tried looking out to see what was going on as it was much louder than a regular vehicle typically is. Right away I saw the front end of a large truck with thick roll bars clearly meant to take down anything in it's path. Instantly I figure Swat or Military. Looking further down the road, I can see a cop car on Packard at the turn around where Cobblestone farm is. Cherries were flashing ans it was clear he was keeping traffic off that stretch of road. Looking the other direction, I see another cop car at the bank at the packard/eisenhower split doing the same. Natural instinct told me to go downstairs and see what the hell was happening. Got my coat on exited my apt door, went to th entrance of the stairs leading downwards, and suddenly I see 7-9 Swat guys completely geared up. Helmets with cameras, face masks, looking like the were ready to breach a door on the lower level and kick some ass. One of the lead guys sees me upstairs and quietly waves me back. It was a hell of a shock. I back up re-enter my apt and hope to god bullets don't start coming up from the floor boards. word count was too large for one post, have to continue in a reply......

detroit buckets

Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 10:56 p.m.

By their demeanor I was fully expecting a hell of a clamor to start up any second. But for a good 20 minutes go by without anything happening. I decide to peak out again, heard some of them talking back and forth quietly but loud enough for me to hear them upstairs and they seemed much more calm. Again one of the guys saw me and waved me away from the stairs. Shortly thereafter, the swat vehicle pulled right up to the front door of the building, and I'm guessing that's when they all did what they came for. Never once though was there any loud disturbances, screams, or pounding. No shots fired. Clearly there must not have been much resistance once they decided to go in. Sometime later I noticed traffic was once again moving down Packard. Looking out my window, I could see 9+ swat officers downstairs milling around the front door while one was cuffing an individual I couldn't really see. A couple of them took interest in a parked vehicle, shining their lights into it. But pretty much after that they all loaded up into their monstrosity of a vehicle and left. It was maybe 12:45 at this point. I was just glad that whatever transpired seemed to end peacefully and no one got hurt. But I was pretty confused as to why we weren't asked to leave the complex. If whatever was going on was serious enough for them to involve swat, shouldn't they have quietly notified residents and gotten us out of harms way?


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 10:29 p.m.

To paraphrase madeleine albright, "What's the sense in having this superb military if you can't use it?"


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 10:21 p.m.

Correction: "military camo;" Not "camp." (my spell checker did it!).


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 10:20 p.m.

We pay for the multi-department Washtenaw County SWAT Team (a Very Fine outfit!) and we deserve to be informed when it is summoned by AAPD. Is this the last that we will be informed? (It's always a good idea for citizens to keep an eye on guys in military camp, 2 armored vehicles, automatic weapons and flash bang grenades).

Basic Bob

Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 10:15 p.m.

There is no Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti border.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 2:31 p.m.

Enso....Not exactly.It goes either way.Meijer and Home Depot as well as other businesses on Carpenter have Ypsi addresses and there are also houses that have Ypsi addresses west of Golfside.I'm pretty sure it depends on when they were built.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 2:11 p.m.

West of Golfside your address says "Ann Arbor." East of Golfside it says "Ypsilanti."


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 4:42 a.m.

If you read the article it says "Lee Stutesman, who lives near the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti border", it does nto say this incident took place there.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 2:40 a.m.

This area is far from the ann arbor-ypsi border. I'm pretty sure it's firmly in ann arbor.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 12:49 a.m.

Golfside Road is part of the border between Pittsfield Twp. and Ypsilanti Twp.

Ann English

Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 12:30 a.m.

From what other comment posters said last summer or fall, Golfside Road marks part of the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti border.


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 11:11 p.m.

I'm gonna guess they are talking somewhere between Carptenter and Hewitt


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 9:56 p.m.

Vaguest news story ever. Come on. Give us some detail or don't publish.