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Posted on Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 2:02 p.m.

Man accused of beating police officers during arrest

By Kyle Feldscher

The preliminary examination for a Saline man accused of beating police officers while they attempted to arrest him for suspicion of drunken driving was delayed Tuesday.


John Craigmile

Courtesy of the Saline Police Department

John Craigmile, 24, has been arraigned on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and assaulting, resisting or obstructing a police officer for an incident early on Christmas morning. Craigmile was originally scheduled to be in court for a preliminary examination at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. Court officials did not have the date of Craigmile’s next court appearance immediately available.

Saline police said Craigmile was traveling west at about 12:40 a.m. on Dec. 25 on Henry Street when Saline police officer Ashley Kofahl began driving behind him. According to the police report, Kofahl observed Craigmile driving erratically and speeding as he headed toward his home in the 200 block of McKay Street.

The report stated Kofahl turned on her emergency lights and attempted to pull Craigmile over after she saw him drive his 2002 black Ford Explorer through a stop sign. Police allege Craigmile continued to speed before arriving at his home, where he ran over the curb twice while parking his vehicle.

Kofahl said in the report that Craigmile ignored three of her requests for him to stay in the vehicle and got out. Kofahl then stopped him near the rear of the Explorer. Kofahl said in the police report that Craigmile had bloodshot and watery eyes, smelled of alcohol and was speaking in a slow and slurred manner.

Craigmile got his wallet out of his pocket after being asked for identification, according to the police report, but then stated, “I don’t have my wallet.” He still gave his driver’s license to Kofahl, according to the report.

After Kofahl requested backup, Officer Dennis Gruschow arrived. The police report stated Craigmile attempted to walk to the house, but was stopped by Kofahl, who grabbed him on the arm. Craigmile then began pushing the officers and attempting to pull away from them to go inside, the report stated.

The report states the officers took Craigmile to the ground in an attempt to subdue him, but that he threw punches at their heads and bodies. Kofahl was sitting on Craigmile’s back while Gruschow attempted to secure his arms, but Craigmile’s strength made it impossible for them to subdue him, the officers said in their report.

At one point during the struggle, the police report stated Gruschow’s flashlight fell to the ground, which Craigmile then took and used to strike the officers repeatedly. The officers wrestled the flashlight away from Craigmile, but he continued to fight them, the report stated.

At this point, Craigmile’s father came out of the home and began speaking to his son in an attempt to calm him down, the report stated. After a short while, Craigmile allowed police to place him under arrest, according to the report.

The struggle lasted about three-and-a-half minutes, the report stated.

Craigmile refused to submit to a breath or blood test after his arrest, and a search warrant was sought and approved for a blood test, the report stated. The analysis of that test is ongoing.

Gruschow’s glasses were bent during the fight and his mouth was bleeding after the struggle, the report stated. Kofahl suffered contusions on her knees and other parts of her body and went to the emergency room later on Dec. 25, according to the report.

Jail records show Craigmile is not lodged at the Washtenaw County Jail.

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



Sun, Jan 8, 2012 : 3:53 a.m.

I don't condone drinking 'n' driving, but the man made it home safely without damaging property or harming anyone... Ugh, why couldn't the police just let it go?

N. Todd

Sat, Jan 28, 2012 : 9:06 p.m.

"Gruschow's glasses were bent during the fight and his mouth was bleeding after the struggle". Did I read the wrong story? Your comment is equally as dumb if you meant it sarcastically.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 11:48 p.m.

John Craigmile needs help! Maybe its a good thing that he was caught drinking and driving. He is alive and no one else got hurt. Now it is time for him to get some help for his alcohol problem. John is a good, kind person and I hope this is a wake up call for him so something like this never happens again. I , for one, am rooting for John to pick up the pieces and get his life in order to live a successful, sober life.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 10:05 p.m.

I use to see him at Country Market also, too bad he had to mess up his life like this. He was always nice and polite, seemed like a good guy! but when alcohol is involved everything changes.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 7:43 a.m.

Its unfortunate that John decided to take this route...used to see the guy working at the Saline Country Market quite often back in the day and he seemed like a decent guy. Not surprised that the cops weren't able to detain him. The kid's about 6'4-6'5 weighing in at about 200 lbs. the kids a monster.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 12:47 a.m.

Well, maybe this is a reason females should not be in the line of duty. It's just not safe for them. They cant match the impossible strength of a Craigmile.


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 3:59 p.m.

The officers' accounts, at least as detailed here, stretch credulity


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 3:47 p.m.

Every situation like this involves a judgement call by the officer(s) involved. The decision tree begins when an officer gives an order to someone. Some people put themselves at risk by ignoring or defying a police order. Actual resistance or aggression directed at police can and does end tragically. In this particular case, the accused allegedly defied a police order to remain in his vehicle and then ignored and physically resisted a police order not to attempt to leave (go into his house). The fact that the accused was not rendered harmless when he ignored the order to stay in his car suggests that the officer felt unable to render the accused helpless to begin with. Most officers I've known would have taken immediate steps to subdue and handcuff the subject at that point. If that isn't possible, after that officer's back up arrived, the two officers would ordinarily enforce the first order in a way which would bring the subject under control. I say "enforce the first order" meaning they'd handcuff the resistant subject. Remember, last winter there was an incident where a man defied a police order to remain in his car and got shot. Some people criticized that officer but investigation showed the action was justified. In this case, some are criticizing the officer for using too little force. When do the police "win" in some people's minds? IMO: this Saline officer's actions will probably be reviewed by the department. I would hope they will be encouraged to deal with such situations in ways that will end the risk to themselves, to other officers and to the subject as well.


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 4:39 p.m.

Tru2Blu...I like how you put this. I too am familiar with "police protocol" and NOT the way some will think! LOL... The first officer should have put him down and subdued him with whatever "force" she needed to use. He crossed the line, he broke the law, he refused a direct order by a law enforcement opinion is she put her and her back-ups' lives in unnecessary danger. Like you...I worded my comment VERY gently to avoid the comment police. But I will say that it wouldn't have happened this way on my shift...


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 12:58 p.m.

Good work, Saline Police! Ignore the usual cop-haters. It would seem that the officers showed admirable restraint. Probably more restraint than they should have. I'm trying to keep the kids in bed early Christmas morning and the cops are out risking their lives. Thanks!


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 7:14 a.m.

What a shame this kid destroyed his life in a matter of a few minutes.


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 3:40 a.m.

Great Job Saline Police!! (sorry about the injuries suffered) Cragmile is not lodged? I hope he is somewhere.


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 3:07 a.m.

@Trespass If I were you I would be afraid very afraid to call the police if I needed help! Instead if someone is breaking into your house call the ACLU!


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 2:01 a.m.

Please FOIA the video. It may have happened just as the officers said but I have seen so many allegations in police reports that turn out to be lies when you get the video., please get the video.


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 2:21 a.m.

I'd I miss the part thr said there was video. Or are you just assuming there is one?

Ron Granger

Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 1:19 a.m.

Sounds like the Saline police could learn a few things from the Saline High School football team.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 9:27 p.m.

Maybe the Saline Police Department should merge withe the Sheriff's Office, who is properly equipped. Remember, consolidation is the new "buzz" word.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 8:47 p.m.

Maybe the officers were trying to cut him some slack because it was Christmas and he took advantage of it. I agree with the previous posts that once he got so combative they should have gotten more forceful.

Mr. Ed

Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 8:37 p.m.

The boy is lucky to be alive. The police did a great job!


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 4:06 p.m.

He is 24 years old, he is a man now not a boy


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 8:19 p.m.

That boy lucky they didn't up and shoot him.


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 4:05 p.m.

24 is not a boy anymore


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 8:15 p.m.

Saline police also don't carry batons or nightsticks?


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 7:53 p.m.

What!?!?!? so is it safe to say that Saline police don't have tazers??? And...the last time I checked...those flashlights are considered deadly weapons. Those two officers exercised great restraint. Maybe a little too of them could have been killed by a lucky blow from the perpetrator. Thank goodness for the ending they got...