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Posted on Tue, May 24, 2011 : 12:15 p.m.

Three charged in beating and robbery of pizza delivery driver in Ypsilanti Township

By Lee Higgins

Three men are accused of robbing and seriously beating a pizza delivery driver Sunday morning in Ypsilanti Township, leaving him hospitalized, Washtenaw County sheriff's deputies said.

Michael Anthony Hellems, 18, and Michael Thomas Brooks, 17, both of Ypsilanti Township, and Robert James Word, 20, of Belleville are each charged with assault with intent to commit great bodily harm less than murder and two counts of armed robbery.


Robbery suspects Michael Brooks, left; Michael Hellems, center, and Robert Word.

They were arraigned Monday afternoon at the Washtenaw County Jail, where each is being held on a $500,000 bond, jail officials said.

Sheriff's department spokesman Derrick Jackson said the men approached the driver at 1:46 a.m. Sunday in the 200 block of Ashley Court, where he was making a delivery. One of the men pulled a gun and attempted to rob the driver, Jackson said. The driver fought with the men, who then began punching and kicking him, Jackson said. It's unclear what the men allegedly stole.

When deputies arrived, they found the 56-year-old driver badly beaten, Jackson said. The driver, who is from Van Buren Township, was taken to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital.

The men were arrested shortly after the robbery.

Jackson said he did not have an update on the victim's condition.



Mon, May 30, 2011 : 11:18 a.m.

I am praying for this innocent pizza man and the first suspect who appears to be possibly innocent based on what I've read here. On this Memorial Day, I hope people at risk will be protected with the proper arms that are granted for us as Americans.


Fri, May 27, 2011 : 1:29 a.m.

Mike Brooks DID NOT commit armed robbery. He had NOTHING to do with the gun. I feel this article is slightly slanderous. He's a minor who was has not been convicted of a crime, only ACCUSED by those 2 other scum bags.


Thu, May 26, 2011 : 11:01 a.m.

A gun and three guys splitting pizza money? Wow. I can hear it now "hey man I got shorted 13cents on my end"

fight hunger

Wed, May 25, 2011 : 2:37 p.m.

thank god they caught them


Wed, May 25, 2011 : 3:10 a.m.

"Why do I carry a gun? ... Because when seconds count the cops are only minutes away." If you had a gun and tried to use it, the criminals would rip it out of your hands and use it on you. Criminals are, by definition, more experienced and violent than you are.


Wed, May 25, 2011 : 1:29 p.m.

And your assertion comes from...? I'll allow that is a possibility but that is why you should also get training and maintain awareness. &quot;You are far more likely to survive a violent assault if you defend yourself with a gun. In episodes where a robbery victim was injured, the injury/defense rates were: Resisting with a gun 6% Did nothing at all 25% Resisted with a knife 40% Non-violent resistance 45%&quot; This from the British who ban guns from everyday people. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Also look at where everyday there are stories of successful self defense all over the country.


Tue, May 24, 2011 : 8:59 p.m.

Incredibly cowardly. 3 individuals (I can't call them men) with at least one gun vs. 1 presumably unarmed man. I have said for years that I would like to see the justice system and the NRA join forces to impose much more severe mandatory sentences on any individual who commits an armed robbery with a gun (keeping the assault charge separate, of course).


Thu, May 26, 2011 : 10:58 a.m.

Don't we already have a mandatory 2 year sentence for crimes involving guns? I believe that it is separate from any other charges incurred.


Tue, May 24, 2011 : 8:20 p.m.

Unfair!!! Now these gentlemen won't be able to get into med school.

Tony Dearing

Tue, May 24, 2011 : 6:43 p.m.

A reminder that we ask you not to post comments that presume guilt on people who have been accused of crimes.


Tue, May 24, 2011 : 6:13 p.m.

Why do I carry a gun? ... Because when seconds count the cops are only minutes away. , Hope the pizza guy makes a quick recovery

Mr. Ed

Tue, May 24, 2011 : 5:41 p.m.

Good police work by the deputies. Thank you for keeping my community safe.


Tue, May 24, 2011 : 5:29 p.m.

&quot;The men were arrested shortly after the robbery.&quot; That was some quick police work. It is much more common to read something like, &quot;No description of the perpetrator(s) is available at this time&quot; or &quot;The victim did not recognize the thief/burglar/carjacker/etc.&quot; I wonder if somebody managed to note a license plate or something while the fight was going on.


Tue, May 24, 2011 : 4:58 p.m.

Reasonable people expect others to act reasonably. If ever you need an example of how you can't reason with criminals look to incidents like these. I wish the victim a speedy recovery. I pre-moderate what I wish for the animals that put him in the hospital.


Fri, May 27, 2011 : 9:48 a.m.

Read my comment again. If I had done as you state I would have violated the conversation guidelines and my comment would have been removed.


Fri, May 27, 2011 : 1:39 a.m.

Mike is not an &quot;animal&quot; and is innocent until proven guilty. If you ever need an example of the media slandering a good kid when they don't even have correct information, look on internet news sites. I wish the victim a speedy recovery as well. Keep in mind that these are young men whose heartbroken families are most likely reading this. What if it was your child?