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Posted on Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 10:39 a.m.

Police investigate alleged domestic assault at home of Ann Arbor firefighter killed on I-696

By Cindy Heflin

Bloomfield Township police are investigating an alleged domestic assault at the home of Ann Arbor firefighter Daniel Armitage, who was killed when struck by several cars on Interstate 696 Thursday, the Detroit Free Press reported this morning.


Daniel Armitage

Michigan State Police Trooper Paul Shunia told the Free Press Armitage's wife is in Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak. Police received a report that she was assaulted by Armitage on Jan. 1 in their home in Bloomfield Township, Shunia said.

Armitage, 41, an Ann Arbor firefighter since 1995, died after at least three cars struck him about 6:30 Thursday morning along the freeway in Farmington Hills while he was apparently changing a tire, Michigan State Police said. Armitage, who lived in West Bloomfield Township, appeared to have been changing a tire on the north shoulder of westbound I-696 but at some point ended up on the ground in the right lane of the freeway, where the vehicles hit him, police said.

Another vehicle crashed into the median while trying to avoid striking Armitage, and its occupants suffered minor injuries, police said.

The westbound lanes of the freeway were closed for several hours after the crash.

Michigan State Police Lt. Phil Menna said police have made no determination about why Armitage ended up in the traffic lane and are looking at the crash from every angle. He said police have spoken to all the drivers involved in the crash and received many calls from motorists who drove through the area at the time of the crash. Police still want to speak to anyone else with information, Menna said.

Ruben Ortiz-Reyes, deputy forensic pathologist with the Oakland County Medical Examiner's office, said the office had no information to release about an autopsy today. He said the office had not established a positive identification of the victim.

Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call police at 248-584-5740.


Deon Gates

Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 8:56 p.m.

How is the assaulted wife doing? The last of any report was that she was on a ventilator.


Sun, Jan 8, 2012 : 2:55 a.m.

If I had control... this story would be removed for violating my guidelines.


Sun, Jan 8, 2012 : 12:14 a.m.

one less hero to layoff come spring.. Yea I may have no pity but my heart saddens for his wife and kids who forever have to deal with the consequences of his senseless death..

Robert Granville

Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 5:53 p.m.

These comments are ridiculous. The fact that this man was tragically killed has no bearing on an alleged domestic assault. Police follow the facts. If a domestic assault occurred, it needs to be investigated. There is no waiting period simply because the husband passed.


Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 11:07 p.m.

Robert, Robert, Robert, his death has a huge bearing on the alleged domestic assault. It's possible, from what I read, that a tyrant coward abuser finally got caught and it distrupted his secret world. Couldn't stick around to face the music.


Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 3:59 p.m.

According to the Police Mrs. Armitage filed a police report that her husband put her in the hospital with injuries. I think that is newsworthy if in fact that happens to be true which the police have reported, more than likely they had an arrest warrant for her husband on possible assault charges. The accident or possible intentions by Mr. Armitage seems rather bizarre, firefighters are extremely safety conscious and if they claim that he was lying on the road way all the more tragic for all.


Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 3:51 p.m.

I thought the point of a news agency was to report the facts. Seems that's what did in this case. I agree with YpsiVeteran. There are no judgments or implications made here. Facts aren't always pretty.


Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 3:29 p.m.

What about his wife allegedly being on a ventilator in the hospital 6+ days after this alleged domestic assault? Wouldn't that be considered news on its own?


Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 3:01 p.m.

The wife being in the hospital is not alleged. Nor is the fact that someone called 911 and reported a domestic assault.


Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 2:51 p.m.

Why was Firefighter Armitage not arrested at the time of the January 1st domestic assault? In the state of Michigan, police responding to a domestic violence call are to make an arrest even if it is a misdemeanor assault. It is apparant that Armitage's wife was so badly injured during the assault that she was taken to the hospital...and she was still in the hospital five days later. So apparently, Armitage's wife suffered a felony assault...and her husbsand / Firefighter Armitage wasn't arrested at the scene? If Michigan domestic violence laws and policy had been followed, Firefighter Armitage would have been arrested at the scene and been sitting in jail on felony dv charges...with an extremely high bond. Although the death / possible suicide of Firefighter Armitage is tragic, we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that his wife apparently severly injured by him....and he wasn't behind bars. It points out the tragic unfairness in how officer involved domestic violence is dealt with...and how victims have no protection.


Mon, Jan 9, 2012 : 12:52 p.m.

that his wife apparently severly injured by him.... This has NOT been proven. Seems to me until it is you should quit making assumptions.


Sun, Jan 8, 2012 : 3:16 p.m.

Because of the brotherhood among police and firefighters.


Sun, Jan 8, 2012 : 12:18 a.m.

There's some inconsistency in the reports. The Detroit News article says the wife was hospitalized for "a seizure," and that a domestic assault report was being investigated. It's possible that she did not immediately report an assault, and/or he was not present when the report was made. The information in the reports I've seen so far don't support an assumption that she suffered an FA., as the reason for her hospitalization has only been reported as a seizure.


Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 10:45 p.m.

Many people get special protection. Example, if you are an administrator who sexually harasses an employee, you might get backed up by other administrators. They may get a slap on the wrist and the victim is left to deal with the abuse.


Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 12:40 a.m.

There seems to be a lot more to this story (unlike some of the other stories that have invited comments about questionable journalism) that really does deserve more of a look into possible reasons this accident happened. I hope there is a better investigation and story told, because several people were involved in this accident and their lives are probably forever changes because of it. Thoughts go out to all the families and children involved with this very difficult situation.


Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 12:27 a.m.

An all new low in ghastly "reporting" that equates innuendo as news. This is becoming par for the course for this site. Tell me: where do these people go to get their reputations back when the rush to report nothing turns out to have no basis in fact? It certainly has little news value. At least with a newspaper there is a little time to do research and fact finding before a deadline. With this site there is no deadline. That trades the need to seek the truth for being first. Dangerous!


Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 2:40 a.m.

You want the truth? You cant handle the truth!


Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 1:35 a.m.

What innuendo? The woman's been hospitalized for unknown reasons since Jan. 1. That is fact, not innuendo. She made a domestic abuse report with the police. This is also fact. Which people's reputations are you allegedly concerned about, and how does relaying factual information damage those reputations? No conclusions are drawn in this article, and no one's been convicted or anthing; in fact, this site's report contains considerably less detail and information that the Detroit News report.


Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 12:03 a.m.

You guys are all giving AA.COM way to much credit for this. They didn't even write the story. They stole it from the Detroit News. They just linked it and are cashing in on it. Personally I think that makes it worse but still its not their orginal work.


Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 3:03 p.m.

Ah, Detroit Free Press. Are you saying that nothing should be reported to us that was reported first in another publication? What sense does that make?


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 10:57 p.m.

All these comments would indicate folks want to censure the news because......why? Many these comments differ greatly from what I've seen when a civilian is involved. I just saw channel 4 do a story on this incident. is not out of line in its coverage.

Rob Pollard

Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 10:11 p.m.

For those of you on the &quot;; shame on your parade, here is the title of a related Detroit News article: &quot;Police: Death of Ann Arbor firefighter on I-696 may not have been accident&quot; Key quotes: &quot;His death initially seemed to be a tragic accident, but one word kept cropping up — except. - Except that while the tire had lost some air, it didn't have any leaks and was still driveable, police say. - Except that the tire jack was still in the trunk of Armitage's vehicle and that only two lug nuts had been removed, police say. - Except that Armitage said he was going out for breakfast that morning, but he didn't have any money or his wallet on him when he died, police say.&quot; There are more &quot;excepts&quot; in that article. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> This situation appears to literally have been a tragedy. If (and I repeat, if, as the investigation is ongoing) a person died in a manner completely different than what was widely reported yesterday, it is important that the public record by clarified, as painful as that may be to some. This death did not just involve one person - others were involved (perhaps) in the events leading up to it, and certainly the other drivers were involved who (it appears through no fault of their own) struck and killed Mr. Armitage. They deserve to know the truth.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 11:27 p.m.

Rob. Thanks for sharing this article..The more information reported the better able we are to make an accurate assessment of events. My heart goes out to the family, especially the children involved.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 10:54 p.m.

I totally agree. We can't pick and choose who the media reports on, even though we might like to many times. Just because it is painful, and it is, it is news...and it is being covered in all major local media outlets.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 10:36 p.m.

I concur. Yesterday I thought only condolences were in order with the facts that were put forth by the police and media at that time. today things have. That being said, it is still a shame that people are sullying his name while his family is going through the grieving process.

Alan Goldsmith

Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 10:07 p.m.

Thanks to the Detroit Free Press for breaking this local Ann Arbor story.

Joe Kidd

Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 2:18 a.m.

? He lived in West Bloomfield. The accident occurred in Farmington HIlls on I-696. It is not a local A2 story at all. He works here but that does not make it a local Ann Arbor story. If your post is pure sarcasm, excuse me.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 9:27 p.m.

And the ad banner on a domestic violence story is for mail order brides. Priceless!! Thanks for the laughs

roll tide

Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 9:03 p.m.

This story is unfortunate!

Alan Black

Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 8:48 p.m.

Thank you for posting this story. It's very riveting.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 8:25 p.m.

When was the last time a non-fatal domestic violence story made the news? Only now when it's connected with this other story! I can't blame as they're only linking to the Freep story. Shame on you Free Press!!


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 9:20 p.m.

Free Press, Detroit News, WXYZ (7)news lead 5PM story, WDIV(4) 5PM lead story....look this is a serious news story. It puts a whole different light on a police investigation. Reading the Detroit News story might make it more clear for you.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 8:20 p.m.

Many people are angrily asking for the point of this article. It may be a reminder that we should not be so quick to invent heroes and understand that everyone's lives are more than just what we see on the surface.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 9:16 p.m.

That's right. What about the wife. Is she suppose to pretend he's a hero? Sick secrets should not be kept. Some secrets keep the dysfuntion to continue.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 8:14 p.m.

When hippies attack, A2 comments get out of control. Everyone is so overly sensitive these days.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 3:23 a.m.

And some not. Too bad.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 7:17 p.m.

Shame on you.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 7:15 p.m.

As always people are going to blog about their own assumptions, but in cases such as these, our opinion doesn't matter. A person's life is gone. There IS a survivor. There is obviously more to this story and it is not for any of us to judge.

Always Amazed

Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 6:43 p.m.

What on earth was the point of publishing this story?? Another example of yellow journalism on this site. This tragedy is not yours to exploit. Shame on you.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 6:31 p.m.

This article was really uncalled for and shows questionable ethics on the part of the Detroit Free Press and This was brought to my attention by my wife as I don't normally read this website, a practice which now seems justified. You may want to consider taking the high road in similar situations in the future. Alleged can also be construed as heresay, and therefor gossip which isn't news. Leave the gossip to the tabloids, unless of course you don't consider yourselves a serious news source.

Joe Kidd

Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 2:13 a.m.

No I disagree. No ifs, ands or buts about it, this is news. It is being reported all over the Det News, the Freep, and I heard it on WAAM this afternoon. Why shouldn't report it.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 9:13 p.m.

Well said USAFVet. May I just add that nowhere in either article does it say that Armitage was charged.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 6:29 p.m.

Information as to what occurred is critical in this situation, and I thank the news for providing that. I have seen comments calling for (murder) charges against the driviers involved yet now they may also be victims of this tragic event. Our prayers should continue for Mrs. Armitage, the Armitage family and all those others directly involved while we learn what actually happened, and how it may be prevented in the future.

zip the cat

Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 5:43 p.m.

AA. coms conversations guidelines only apply to those who reply to stories. They can sling mud and make false statements and degrade as they please. The guy isint in the ground yet and your already makeing him out as the villian. Must be a real slow day in the news room.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 9:42 p.m.

I do not believe made anyone out a villain. They reported what the POLICE reports say.....and Ms Armitage in the hospital since Jan 1st reported the crime. If she made him a villain, then blame her. Good grief, poor lady.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 8:51 p.m.

How does reporting the facts as they exist right now make anybody out to be a villan? What mud has been slung here, specifically? A police report was made, and the site has reported that fact. Reality is rarely simple, and very few things in life are black and white, even tragedy.

G. Orwell

Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 5:37 p.m.

For some strange reason, it looks like someone wants to smear the disseased firefighter.


Sun, Jan 8, 2012 : 12:43 a.m.

Typo correction (sorry): &quot;It's apparently ok for many commenters here when the paper prints stories about someone's arrest record when they are shot in West Willow...&quot;,

Robert Granville

Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 5:55 p.m.

Have you entertained the possibility that his alleged actions could be responsible for the bad press?


Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 3:39 p.m.

I'm sorry G., but you seem to be missing the point. The newspaper isn't making allegations. They are reporting allegations. The majority of crime reported in any paper is pre-trial; do you have the same objections to every other crime report? The wife made a police report. The paper is reporting that fact. Are you saying it's disgusting for the wife to report an alleged assault? The report was made to the police before the poor man died. How does that add up to some conspiracy to make him look bad? It seems to me lots of people are applying a double standard to the reporting of this incident. It's apparently ok for many commenters here when the paper prints stories about someone's and arrest record when then are shot in West Willow, but not when the paper relays information that may end up being uncomplimentary about this firefighter. Like I said before, reality is rarely black and white; people who do great things are not always great people. His service and dedication to his community is not diminished by whatever the reality of his private life ends up being.

G. Orwell

Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 4:39 a.m.

@rinmem Thanks for the correction. My spell check on my iPhone must have decided it was &quot;disseased.&quot; I have to admit, spelling is not my strength. @YpsiVeteran I actually thought the opposite. There are only allegations. Thus, I believe someone wants to make a deceased person look bad. I think it is disgusting to make allegations and write a story on it when the person is no longer with us to defend himself. Somewhat cowardly to have published this article.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 8:44 p.m.

How is reporting the facts as they exist today smearing anybody? Did you automatically assume he's guilty of something? That's on you, not the paper.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 8:22 p.m.

Thee word would be &quot;deceased&quot; unless your privy to other information.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 5:33 p.m.

Tony- Your story violates your own guidelines: Please avoid - Insensitivity to victims of accidents or crimes


Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 12:06 a.m.

I was actually commenting more on the arbitrary use of the guidelines. If perceives insensitivity to victims of accidents they will delete your comment. Since you ask, I think it is quite insensitive to the family of the deceased who are grieving and no doubt making final arrangements for the deceased. I'm sure that reading reports such as this do not help to console them. Even if true, it's rather irrelevant since the man is deceased. He can't be charged with anything and reporting alleged misdeeds after his death is nothing more than voyeurism. Your assertion that this is a newspaper and this is news are just false.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 8:43 p.m.

The paper is reporting the facts: The woman in the hospital told police she was assaulted by her husband. That is what the police are reporting. How is that insensitive? It's reality. This is a newspaper. They report the news, as they themselves are able to ascertain it, or as it is reported to the police. People who don't want to be made aware of the news need to read fiction and not newspapers.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 5:29 p.m.

Yellow journalism.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 8:18 p.m.

Tony, you can ask if someone knows a definition of something, ie yellow journalism like Barb has done. Yet when I comment on her grammatical error my comment is removed. Have you CHECKED how ridiculous your moderation has become?


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 6:21 p.m.

Have you check the definition of that?


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 4:46 p.m.

Too many young people are dying in these last few weeks. We need to become more aware of the stresses and pain that those around us are feeling and show compassion and love. This is a tragedy too sad for words.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 4:06 p.m.

UNBELIEVABLE! Couldn't this have possibly waited in light of the tragedy involving family, firehouse and community? ALLEGED? Still being investigated? Please, what is the purpose of this report at this terrible time??!


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 6:21 p.m.

Craig, I agree with you.

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 5:02 p.m.

The story says, and I quote... &quot;Meanwhile, Armitage's wife remains hospitalized in Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Shunia said. Police received a report that she was assaulted by Armitage on Jan. 1 in their home in Bloomfield Township, Shunia said. Bloomfield Township police said in a release that they are investigating the reported domestic assault at the home on Mohawk Court. But police did not releasing any additional details, declining to give specifics until the investigation is complete.&quot; I think that is news worthy and the Free Press reporting it, as uncomfortable as it may be to some, is what a Newspaper is supposed to do.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 4:02 p.m.

I am praying for this family during this very tragic time. I also pray for Mr. Armitage. This news continues to be heartbreaking.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 4:01 p.m.

What is the point of this article??? Basically it says that at some time there was a domestic dispute/assault at the home of this firefighter that may or may not involve him and may or may not have happened before or after his death...

Joe Kidd

Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 2:06 a.m.

The point of the article is that it is news. I heard all this on the radio this afternoon too.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 9:38 p.m.

I think the MSP interview in the Detroit News article is a lot more telling. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 6:03 p.m.

The tire had 8-10 pounds of pressure. While it was still drivable, that's a flat tire. One should pull off the highway if the tire is inflated enough to do so.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 5:42 p.m.

They must have updated the free press article because I read it before and it didn't have any more details than the summary here and now it does.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 5:18 p.m.

The State Police are saying that the tire had 8-10 pounds of air pressure. That's a flat tire in my book, just not flat enough to justify changing on the highway.

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 5:12 p.m.

&quot;kulse012 at 11:57 AM on January 6, 2012 The free press article also indicates the State Police are saying there was no flat tire.&quot; But it also says there was only 8-10 lbs of pressure which is very low. It is possible if his car was equipped with tire pressure sensors they may have indicated a pressure problem. I believe most all late model BMW's have pressure sensors.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 4:57 p.m.

The free press article also indicates the State Police are saying there was no flat tire. Which begs the question of what was going on outside the car. It is a very tragic situation. However, it is a developing story, the alleged domestic assualt could potentially be tied into this, we just don't know. There are just things that don't add up. Who knows what they mean yet. The job of the media is to investigate, even tragedy.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 4:21 p.m.

The point of this article is to link to a Freep article that has more info than what's described here. I suggest you read that and you'll find the point. And yes, tragic for the entire family - and it's just sounding worse and worse.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 4:18 p.m.

The details are in the Free Press article.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 4:12 p.m.

Read the Free Press article.

Tony Dearing

Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 3:50 p.m.

We ask people who post comments on this story to observe our moderation guidelines for stories involving tragic deaths. You will find those guidelines here: <a href=""></a>

Billy Bob Schwartz

Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 3:12 a.m.

Sorry, but to me, this is closer to gossip than to news. Innuendo is especially not needed in such a story as this.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 7:33 p.m.

Tony, Your job is to you've been told many times by posters here when something IS NOT REPORTED. It isn't up to you to cover up a story for one person and not another person, no matter who it is and when it comes out, as painful as the news might be.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 7:27 p.m.

I'm trying to figure out why they should not be reporting this. Is it because it's disturbing and sad? Yeah, let's not report bad news.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 7:13 p.m.

they care very little what the readers think, they know what is appropriate and whats not, and you will obey or be deleted from the conversation

Always Amazed

Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 6:49 p.m.

You should take this story down because it's inappropriate--and listen to your readers who universally find it inappropriate. Rules that apply to readers who comment ought to be observed by those who write for this rag.