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Posted on Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 5:57 a.m.

Video shows Saline police struggling to subdue driver during Christmas Day arrest

By Kyle Feldscher

Saline police have released the video from two patrol cars showing a 24-year-old resident's attempt to break away from police after being pulled over on suspicion of drunken driving.

John Craigmile has been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and assaulting, resisting or obstructing a police officer for the incident in the early hours of Dec. 25 in front of his home in the 200 block of McKay Street. Saline police Officer Ashley Kofahl pulled Craigmile over for suspicion of drunken driving and called for backup from Officer Dennis Gruschow.

Craigmile exited the vehicle when he stopped, in opposition to Kofahl's orders, according to the police report. Craigmile began to struggle with Kofahl as Gruschow arrived on the scene, the report said.

Gruschow came to her aid, but both officers could not subdue Craigmile.


John Craigmile

Courtesy of the Saline Police Department

According to the police report, Craigmile threw punches at Kofahl and Gruschow and used Gruschow's flashlight as a weapon. Gruschow was bleeding from the mouth following the incident and Kofahl went to the emergency room later in the day, according to the police report.

The video shown is from Kofahl's police cruiser. The struggle continued off screen until Craigmile's father came out of the home and calmed down his son, allowing the officers to place him under arrest, according to the police report.

Craigmile's case has been sent to the Washtenaw County Trial Court and will proceed toward trial. His next court date is March 13.

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


Darryl Gritman

Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 9:14 a.m.

After seeing the video of this incident, I realize why it took the cops so long to subdue this guy: They were to afraid to do their jobs the way they are ALLOWED to do their jobs and to start striking this guy to get him under control. Police are too afraid of being sued, fired, or charged with a crime for doing what we actually pay them to do. They are afraid to hit people who need to be hit, to yell at people who need to be yelled at, to taser people who need to be tasered, and ultimately even too afraid to shoot people who need to be shot, occasionally getting themselves killed in the process. If we need our dirty lib lawyers more than we need our police, maybe we should call the lawyers from now on when we're facing serious emergencies.


Fri, Feb 3, 2012 : 7:30 a.m.

A good example of the inferiority of female police officers, due to the laws of physics.


Fri, Feb 3, 2012 : 3:59 a.m.

Great job, officers! It's a shame that Saline officers don't have tasers. Ignore the cop-haters and keep up the good work.


Fri, Feb 3, 2012 : 2:23 a.m.

Thank goodness he was not a dangerous criminal trying to escape after a home invasion, dealing dope or possibly on probation and worried about going to prison or this story might be about two officers being seriously harmed in the line of duty. This is exactly why tasers are used as they are. Wrestling like this with a suspect is too dangerous.


Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 10:52 p.m.

djacks24 , No in Detroit they would have had 4 or 5 cops using their night sticks to thoroughly subduing him.


Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 9:37 p.m.

It seems to me the cops are doing the best they can to control an assaultive suspect. The cops walk a fine line between needing to keep themselves safe and avoiding lawsuits from over-zealous attorneys. As for the comments about Saline being Mayberry USA, maybe that once was, but things have changed. There is as much of an alcohol and drug problem there as anywhere, and it is the alcohol and drugs that fuel much of the violence today. I have to wonder why those running the Saline PD have neglected to equip them with Tasers? Despite some bad, sensationalized press, the tasers seem to, in the vast majority of cases, quell resistance with minimum injury to all involved. I understand that Saline doesn't have them and it seems almost criminal for a head of a police department to not supply them. Good job to the officers, and I am thankful they are fine after what could have been a very bad situation.


Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 7:31 p.m.

This is a problem with being a police officer in the real world and on tape. I see no reason to criticize these officers.

Atticus F.

Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 7:01 p.m.

I would like to see more of the video. I haven't honestly seen anything that justifies this person being slammed to the ground.

Atticus F.

Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 10:02 p.m.

djack, one might think that... However, when someones wind pipe is being collapsed, you might be suprised to find that the reaction is to do anything to stop from having oxygen cut off to the brain. It's a natural human reaction when the body feels it's in danger of being killed.


Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 8:21 p.m.

Exactly what I referring to in my previous comment involving political correctness. Also, considering the possibility he was unjustly thrown to the crown, you'd think he would cooperate while he down and they were trying to cuff him. But obviously that's not the case.


Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 6:31 p.m.

I see the same as (justcurious) two Saline officers doing a great job! (and without putting their selves into a lawsuit). I also agree with John728. These officers were fighting with a monster, who thought he was above the law. Glad no one was seriously injured. (it could have been much worse) Thanks to the officers involved.


Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 6:21 p.m.

Honestly? I think both of those officers need retrained in how to subdue a suspect. I support the police and understand it's a challenging job, but comon. Thats the weakest take down and securing of a suspect that I have seen in a few minutes anyhow. I hate to be Captain Obvious, but that could have turned extremely ugly had the perpetrator wrestled a weapon away. Thankfully it did not.

Darryl Gritman

Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 9:19 a.m.

Keep in mind, cops are sued, suspended, fired, charged with excessive force, complained against, etc on a daily basis. These cops were probably more focused on NOT getting in trouble than doing their jobs right. Sad but true. I think we have "social crusaders" like Fieger to thank for that.


Fri, Feb 3, 2012 : 5:21 a.m.

This happens every night in Detroit. That's why you don't hear about it.


Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 7:31 p.m.

Yeah well Saline isn't Mayberry anymore.


Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 6:50 p.m.

Keep in mind, this is Saline. Kind of like expecting Andy Griffith and Barney Fife to handle big city crime without scratching their heads. Never see/hear of two cops fumbling around with a perp like this happen in Detroit.


Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 4:52 p.m.

hahahaha wow, is it just me or does it seem like the female officer did a much better job during this struggle? She initially takes him down(very nicely), and is on top of him pretty much the entire time while the male officer danced around in a circle holding the suspects hand. Nice job mam.


Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 6:51 p.m.

thanks. i'm aware at what he's attempting to do.


Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 5:45 p.m.

I think the idea here is to twist the subjects arm behind his back in order to subdue him.


Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 4:15 p.m.

What I see here is two good police officers trying to do their job without putting themselves into a lawsuit. It' not easy folks.

Darryl Gritman

Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 9:26 a.m.

What I see is two cops worrying too much about lawsuits risking getting seriously injured or killed in the line of duty. The cops in this situation had every right to go to the next level of force on this guy, yet they did not, and risked being seriously injured or killed. Sometimes cops have to "play rough" with real criminals or they lose the fight....they lose, and we all lose when the criminal wins.


Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 2:40 p.m.

Watching them wrestle around with this guy with the sidearm within reach or this guy. He could have went for the weapon and they both could have wound up dead. Are these cops so hamstrung by political correctness and cameras that they must leave themselves at risk now? What about a nightstick or a taser?


Fri, Feb 3, 2012 : 5:18 a.m.

Harry... I bet you have never used pepper spray on somebody while you are fighting or wrestling with them. First of all, pepper spray is largely ineffective on many people. Secondly, it can be difficult to fight or struggle with somebody and then be able to reach to a specific pouch on your belt, find the spray, get it into a proper position and spray it into the suspect's face... all while he is trying to beat the crap out of you. And guess what... Anybody who has used pepper spray while in a fight knows that it means you are BOTH going to feel the effects of it. In answer to Djacks24's first question: YES. Sadly, a large number of our police officers are so overly-influenced by our litigious and PC society that they are more worried about "going too far" than they are about ensuring their own personal safety. Armchair quarterbacks like most of the people in these threads are the ones who contribute to this issue the most. They have NO idea what the job entails, have usually never actually gotten into a fight with anybody, don't know the legal implications/practical applications/feasabiltiy/etc of their proposed solution, and are often the first to complain about the police being brutes but want the police to better protect THEM.... Unless you have personal experience in a situation like this, or are willing to try it out to see how much fun it is, you should probably leave the speculation and advice out of the dialogue.


Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 5:43 p.m.

I agree if they can not subdue him in a matter of seconds they should taze him or pepper spray him. In the end its safer for everyone.


Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 2:38 p.m.

"Exited the vehicle." Police talk. The reporter has been reading too many police reports. How about "He got out of the car."


Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 10:41 p.m.

I'd prefer fewer syllables or shorter words. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Buster W.

Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 4:16 p.m.

I prefer fewer words that say the same thing.


Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 2:35 p.m.

Well all i can say is he got what was comming to him if i was that officer i would have tazed that boy he is lucky to still be here after that im just glad police are ok GOD BLESS ALL WHO SERVE

Jimmy McNulty

Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 11:54 a.m.

Nothing to see here folks. Just an drunk fighting with police.