Officers spot man wanted on felony charges while off-duty

Posted at 12:19 AM, Jun 11, 2016

ALBION, Mich.-- A man wanted for attempted arson was taken into custody Thursday afternoon after he was spotted by two off-duty police officers. Joshua Buchanan was wanted in connection to an explosive device found near the Consumer's Energy facility in Battle Creek.

The two officers were getting their fishing boat in the water on Duck Lake when they spotted a man sitting on the dock with his feet in the water. Just a few seconds later, they realized it was Buchanan.

"It was just a coincidence, just sheer luck," explained Officer Eric Chard from Albion Public Safety.

Just sheer luck Officer Chard says that he happened to have his duty belt in the back seat of his truck on his day off when they spotted the man wanted on a felony warrant.

"Actually it took just a few seconds for us to realize it was him," said Chard. "After we realized it was him we basically were trying to keep him in the area until the sheriff's deputy transported him to the jail."

"On the way to the lake we were talking about the Facebook post we both had seen from the Battle Creek Police Department about Joshua Buchanan as a suspect for an attempted fire bombing," said Officer Bill Timmins from Albion Public Safety. "As we got to the launch we went to launch the boat and at the same time we both looked at the guy that was sitting on the dock with his feet in the water. "We both looked at each other and said 'That's Buchanan right there'."

Officer Timmins recognized Buchanan almost immediately having dealt with him in the past.

"I've dealt with him many times so I recognized him as soon as I had seen him," said Timmins.

"At that time Officer Timmins contacted dispatch to get a county officer on the way," said Chard. "I backed my boat in as usual and just tried to have a general conversation with Mr. Buchanan to keep him in the area. After launching the boat, Mr. Buchanan started to walk away so we decided that we should make the action to take him into custody.”

Despite having the day off, both officers say they were just doing their job.

“If it is your off day and you see somebody that’s wanted by another agency, you’re going to make the same choice," said Chard.

Chard and Timmins kept Buchanan in the area until a sheriff's deputy arrived and took him into custody, but shortly after they were out on the water.

"As soon as he was turned over to the sheriff's department we went fishing," said Timmins.

The duo catching around 20 bluegill between the two of them.

"We did alright, but I would say by far the biggest catch of the day was at the beginning," said Chard.

Buchanan is currently lodged in the Calhoun County Jail following that arrest. Luckily that device found outside the Consumer's Energy facility did not ignite.