Police investigations into handling of crash turned over to prosecutors

Posted at 4:12 PM, Jan 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-26 16:34:25-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Michigan State Police and Grand Rapids Police Department investigations into the handling of a crash involving a Kent County Assistant Prosecutor have been turned over to prosecutors.

Police say Assistant Prosecutor Josh Kuiper was driving the wrong way on Union Avenue and struck a parked car.  They said he admitted to consuming alcohol before driving, but he only received a ticket and was then escorted to a relative’s home instead of being arrested at the scene.

A man who was retrieving something from the parked car was injured in the crash.

A few weeks later, GRPD opened an internal investigation into whether Kuiper was given special treatment because of his position.  Sgt. Terry Dixon says the investigation was turned over to the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

Michigan State Police were also asked to conduct an investigation into the incident.  State Police Lt. Chuck Christensen said that was also turned over to prosecutors.

Police say a lieutenant, a sergeant and an officer were placed on paid administrative leave. Their names will be released if they are charged.

The Kalamazoo County Prosecutor’s Office says that the state Attorney General’s office has assigned a special prosecutor to work on the case alongside county officials.  The prosecutor’s office is reviewing the case and charges could be announced by early next week.

Kuiper submitted his resignation in December and it will take effect Feb. 1, according to the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office.  Prosecutor Chris Becker said Jan. 6 that Kuiper would not be working out of the office leading up to when his resignation takes effect.

Brian Molde, the attorney representing the man who was injured in the crash, told FOX 17 Jan. 9 the victim wants justice.  He said not only did Kuiper walk away with only a ticket, but he was never even breathalyzed.

Watch FOX 17’s interview with Molde: 

"Obviously had the breathalyzer been done it would have been further evidence that he was operating a vehicle while intoxicated or impaired and those both carry significance in the civil context and the criminal context," Molde said.

Molde said earlier that his client broke vertebrae and suffered neck and head injuries.