CLARE COUNTY – Troopers with the Michigan State Police Mt. Pleasant Post continue to search for a parole absconder who’s accused of leading police on a chase Friday that led to other arrests.
It started with a call for possible criminal activity at a store near Lake George, when a MSP Trooper spotted a possible suspect leaving the area in a Dodge Ram 3500 extended cab.
The driver of the truck refused to stop for the Trooper, heading along U.S. 10, at times driving on the wrong side of the road. During the chase, information was obtained the truck had been reported stolen.
The truck eventually came to a stop and three occupants inside attempted to run for it according to a press release. The Trooper was able to apprehend two of the individuals, both females, one of whom was arrested and lodged at the Clare County Jail on a charge of Resisting and Obstructing Police along with 3 other outstanding warrants.
The driver of the vehicle was able to make it to some nearby woods, leading to a search of the area involving a K-9 Trooper from the Mount Pleasant Post, along with officers from the Clare Police Department and the Clare County Sheriff’s Department.
During the search, officers received a tip regarding a man who had jumped into a swampy area as patrol vehicles had approached the area. The K-9 Trooper was brought to the same vicinity and helped locate a man who was attempting to hide in a grassy area near the swamp.
The man was not involved in the prior chase according to police, but was recognized as a 49-year-old Farwell man who was wanted on several warrants including Burglary, Child Support & Probation Violations and Contempt of Court. He was also arrested and lodged at the Clare County Jail.
Further investigation led officers to identify the suspect driver involved in the chase as 29-year-old Michael Andrew Rotunno. He’s 5’7″, about 135 pounds last seen wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans.
His online record with the Michigan Department of Corrections shows he’s served prison time for Larceny from a Building which occurred in Kent County in June 2012.
Troopers say Rotunno was last seen in the southern Clare County/Northern Isabella County area near Farwell. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call 9-1-1.
Investigators note during the chase, a school in the area was placed on a temporary “outside lockdown” as a precaution, though no threat was immediate to schools in the area. Troopers commended area schools in their response to the request, a local protocol when there is criminal activity or criminal suspects running from police near school grounds.