Suspect wanted after chase that injured officer caught in Kalamazoo Township

Posted at 2:53 PM, Apr 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-01 15:56:49-04


KALAMAZOO TOWNSHIP, Mich – A suspect tied to a police chase in October that injured a public safety officer in Kalamazoo is now in custody.

Deon Burnett was arrested in the 2000 block of Sunnyside Drive in Kalamazoo Township around 1 a.m. Thursday.  Officers made contact with Burnett during an assault and battery investigation, taking him into custody on several outstanding warrants.

Nearly six months ago, investigators with the Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team were conducting surveillance in the same area following citizen complaints of narcotics activity in the area.  During the operation, investigators witnessed several hand to hand drug transactions involving two suspects.

The same two suspects left the area in a vehicle, which uniformed officers with the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety tried to stop in the 1500 block of E. Main Street on October 7, 2015.  A short time later, the two suspects jumped out of the vehicle while it was still in drive and tried to run away.  The vehicle itself crashed into a nearby fence.

The passenger in the vehicle, 28-year-old Robert Lathan, was arrested after assaulting an officer during a foot pursuit.  His charges include assaulting a police officer and intent to distribute crack cocaine after a large amount of suspected drugs were confiscated at the chase scene.

The suspected driver in the initial chase, Deon Burnett, had avoided capture for several months, recently featured in West Michigan’s Most Wanted in February.

He’s now facing charges on several outstanding warrants, including resisting arrest and intent to distribute crack cocaine following the incident in October.

It was the same incident in October where dash camera video revealed a responding officer lost his wedding ring after a scuffle with Lathan during the chase.  That officer suffered a fractured wrist in the pursuit, but eventually found the wedding ring.