BCPD Officers Cleared
Two Battle Creek Police Department Officers have been cleared by the Calhoun County Prosecutor’s Office, following an incident on September 5th, which left one man dead. The Office of Prosecuting Attorney, David Gilbert summed up the case, in a release on Monday.
Around midnight on September 5th, 2020, Battle Creek Police Department Officers Ryan O’Connell, Patrick Herson and Steven Herbstreith were involved in a high speed chase in Calhoun County with a Chevy Trailblazer being driven by Andrew Charles Blowers. They were joined in this pursuit by Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Hatch and the initial chase ended with Mr. Blowers losing control of his vehicle. The vehicle left the roadway, spinning backward into trees off Logistics Drive.
Officers attempted to take Blowers into custody, approaching the Trailblazer with handguns drawn, and ordered him to turn the vehicle off. Instead, Blowers spun his tires until his vehicle freed itself. The vehicle sped towards Officers Herbstreith. Officer Herson and Deputy Hatch fired their service weapons as Officer Herbstreith ran around his vehicle for protection. His vehicle was struck and was pushed out of the way. Officers Herson, Herbstreith and Deputy Hatch fired upon the fleeing vehicle. After crashing in the woods at the end of Logistics, Bowers was found unresponsive and was later pronounced dead at the scene.
Michigan State Police investigated the case. Prosecutor David Gilbert’s opinion has found that Mr. Blowers’ conduct put all four officers in fear of being physically injured and that they were in fear he would strike and possibly kill Officer Herbstreith. Deputy Hatch wore a body camera and both BCPD vehicles had Motor Vehicle Recorders. Descriptions of the events given by the officers were found to be consistent with the recordings.