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Beline Obeid

December 20, 2012
CITY OF GROSSE POINTE — The defendant's handcuffs and ankle shackles clanged as he shuffled before the judge to explain why his arrest for attempted burglary was the stuff of fantasy.

"The situation I'm in right now is a total misunderstanding," pleaded Henry James Crook, 22, of Detroit.

He was arraigned Thursday, Dec. 13, in City of Grosse Pointe Municipal Court for attempted second degree home invasion in the 800 block of University. No one was home.

"I was on my way to see a friend of mine" Crook continued.

"Remember," warned Judge Russell Ethridge, "you have a right to remain silent. Everything you say can be used against you."

"I was on my way to see a friend of mine in Grosse Pointe," Crook persisted.

He told how, a few minutes before 3 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, he wound up standing outside a ground-floor rear window, screen removed.

"I had to use the restroom," Crook said. "I stopped, turned around. A cop was behind me with a Taser. He said, 'Get on your knees. Put your face in the dirt.'"

That would be Officer Joe Adams.

He'd been alerted during routine patrol by a lawn care worker of a suspicious man entering the backyard.

Crook continued, "I said, 'Officer, I didn't do anything.' He Tasered me; grabbed me by the hood. I feared for my life because I was being Tasered. All I thought was to run. I ran and, now, I'm here."

Adams, in a written report, described Crook, thin and 6-foot-4, disobeying instructions, squirming, scuffling, breaking a back-up officer's tackle, jumping over a 6-foot fence and running westbound.

Officers from multiple agencies, including a St. Clair Shores K-9 team, searched the neighborhood without success. School officials locked down Maire Elementary, five blocks away.

"All right," said Ethridge, wrapping things up.

He began the process of appointing Crook an attorney, scheduling a preliminary examination for 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 27, and setting bond at $250,000. Crook must post at least 10 percent.

Attempted burglary is punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

"The people may be seeking to add a resisting and obstructing charge, a 2-year felony, on or before the next court date," said Gary Bresnehan, assistant Wayne County prosecuting attorney.

The search

Detectives tracked down Crook from evidence at the scene.

"Detective Christopher Lee recovered several items near the rear window, including a black hoodie sweatshirt, black baseball cap, gray jewelry box containing miscellaneous jewelry and a blue boys Roadmaster mountain bike," according to an account by Det. Alan Gwyn.

Officers went to Coins & Stamps, on Mack, which trades in second-hand jewelry, regarding valuables recovered at the scene.

"(An employee) provided a possible suspect, Henry James Crook, who frequents their store on a regular basis selling jewelry," Gwyn said.

Gwyn included Crook's image in a photo line-up for Adams and the back-up patrolman.

"They immediately identified Crook as the individual involved," Gwyn said. "We received information of his whereabouts."

Gwyn knows Crook.

"He has been in this court for larceny of a bicycle approximately one year ago," Gwyn said. "(His) criminal history shows an arrest for burglary out of Harper Woods in 2011."

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