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Hold-up man hung up on fence


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September 27, 2012
GROSSE POINTE SHORES — Police from at least three eastside departments acted as one last week to catch a carload of gunmen fleeing a gas station robbery in Eastpointe.

Shortly before 12:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, Grosse Pointe Shores officers blocked escape routes and stopped the suspects' car by stringing spike strips across southbound Vernier just above Lakeshore.


The driver, Thomas James Fesko, 22, of Woodhaven, ran from the car but snagged himself half way over the 6-foot, wrought iron fence into Osius Park.

"(He) impaled his jeans on the fence," said Shores Officer Jason Rengert.

"I grabbed the waist of his pants and attempted to pull him down from the fence," said Eastpointe Officer James Zwicker. "Fesko kicked me several times in the stomach and chest. He was freed when an officer cut his jeans away with a knife."

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Rengert said, "The driver threw cash and a wallet into the park."

Officers recovered $259.

Other officers captured the other two suspects —16, of Brownstown Township; and 17, of Flat Rock — in the car and recovered a black, Glock semi-automatic pistol.

Eastpointe authorities took the men in custody for armed robbery, weapons offenses and obstructing police.

"After reviewing the video of the robbery, I was positive that Fesko was the one who entered the store and committed the robbery," Zwicker said.

"The arrest of these three dangerous felons demonstrated great team work," said John Schulte, Shores public safety director.

Here they come

Minutes before the arrests, Shores patrolmen monitoring radio channels learned of alleged robbers heading their way down Eight Mile from Detroit in a tan 1999 Chevrolet Cavalier.

Sgt. James Wardowski prepared spike strips and ordered Rengert and newly-hired Officer Justin Reeves to block access to Lakeshore.

"I had our spike strip ready to deploy on Vernier near our station rear lot," Wardowski said. "(I) pulled 25 feet of scissor-jointed spikes across the path of the suspect vehicle."

"I moved my scout car, blocking traffic at Lakeshore (and) Vernier, just as the vehicle struck the spike strip," Reeves said.

"The vehicle had two blown front tires and crashed into the east curb on northbound Lakeshore, striking a tree, (causing) minimal damage," Rengert said.

"Two Eastpointe police vehicles in pursuit also made contact with the spike system before (it) could be pulled out of the way," Wardowski said.

The Cavalier stopped on the grass.

"(I) and multiple officers grabbed the subject as he was attempting to climb over the fence into the municipal park," said Shores Officer Joseph Ajlouny, also a new hire.

Reeves drew his sidearm, removed the backseat passenger and put him on the ground.

The men are accused of robbing a Sunoco service station on Gratiot and 10 Mile Road.

The 55-year-old male attendant said a man, later identified by Eastpointe police as the driver Fesko, entered the station and asked if he needed to give the cashier a credit card before purchasing gasoline.

Told yes, the suspect went back to the car and returned, according to the victim.

The suspect reportedly threw a bag at the clerk, pulled a pistol from his back pocket and said, "Put the money in the bag, or I'll blow your head off. Do you think I'm playing?"

Charges

Fesko was arraigned on multiple felonies in 38th District Court, according to a court employee.

Charges include armed robbery, felony firearms violations, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, possession of a firearm by a felon, fleeing police second degree and resisting arrest.

Fesko has a $500,000 cash or surety only.

The 17-year-old passenger, Dylan Louis Skerobe, of Flat Rock, was arraigned for armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery, according to court personnel. Skerobe's bond is $100,000 cash or surety only.

Prosecution of the 16-year-old passenger is being handled in circuit court.


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