August 29, 2012 - The intersection of M-24 and Flint Street was the scene of an intoxicated driving incident on Aug. 19, but the incident quickly became more than a case of drunk driving.
Shana Lynn Smith-Baldi, 36, of Oxford. Photo submitted (click for larger version)
Shana Lynn Smith-Baldi, 36, of Oxford was arraigned Monday, Aug. 20 in front of Magistrate Balian on one count of obstructing police, a two year felony, and one count of operating while under the influence and child endangerment, a one year misdemeanor. She was released later on a $10,000 personal bond.
She had no previous criminal history.
The incident began when Officers Meyers and Brown of the Lake Orion Police Department noticed a driver reacting slowly. Citizens following the driver pointed to her to confirm the officers' suspicions.
Meyers reported he activated his overhead lights and pulled the car over to find two young children in the back seat. He told Smith-Baldi why she was pulled over and noticed a strong smell of intoxicants on her breath.
When asked for her license and identification, she allegedly could not find them and finally asked if she could get out to retrieve them. She stumbled as she got out of the car and Meyers noticed she was barefoot. She walked to the passenger side and produced her papers, which she reportedly had trouble extracting from her wallet.
Several tests were arranged for Smith-Baldi and while she passed some, many she left half done or stumbled too much to complete them, Meyers reported. She refused a breath test and was advised she was under arrest.
"Unfortunately, because drinking is here, there will always be drinking and driving," said LOPD Chief Jerry Narsh. "The best we can do is mitigate these incidents by educating and enforcing the laws. There are always those making that decision, so everyone has to be cautious. In this case we were grateful for the citizens supporting the officer by making sure the officer saw there was something wrong.
"There's nothing better than a driver with a cell phone who recognizes a threat. We often depend on that."
Smith-Baldi began resisting the officer and started to flail and kick him according to Narsh. Meyers removed her from view of the children and put her in the back of his patrol car, but she immediately tried to escape. She kicked and flailed while she attempted to exit the car and once inside she tried to climb through the divider screen where Officer Brown was sitting. He stopped her escape and secured the divider.
Meyers spoke to the nine and seven-years-old children and was able to make them comfortable. They tried to contact a guardian and finally succeeded in contacting the kids' grandparents, who suggested a neighbor of Smith-Baldi. He agreed to take the kids in while the grandparents drove down from Traverse City to care for them. The kids were pleased with getting to stay with the neighbor.
"It was a very dangerous incident that became a violent incident," said Narsh. "Now we have a person facing a felony and that's unfortunate but we're happy the children, and the officer are safe."
When breath tests were eventually administered to the suspect, she blew a .18 BAC. She was taken to Oakland County Jail for lodging. She was scheduled to appear before Judge Nancy Carniak on Aug. 27 at the 52/3 District Court.
Assaulter strikes once, breaks jaw
A case of aggravated assault occurred June 28 at a Detroit Ave residence.
An LOPD officer responded to the area after receiving a call claiming that a man was assaulted the previous day. The man in question had a black eye and a swollen jaw. He had just arrived back from an area hospital where he was diagnosed with a broken jaw that would require surgery. The total bill for the work would be in the thousands.
Injuries were sustained when the victim was visiting a co-worker and friend at her home. The friend's estranged husband arrived at the house, reportedly out of no where, and punched the man without warning. The victim was knocked unconscious from the one punch and he said he remembers waking up on the way to the hospital.
Attempts to contact the alleged assaulter were met with a phone message indicating he was "not taking calls at this time."
The woman said the incident unfolded when her husband and his friend walked up the sea wall to where she and her friend were sitting. Her friend asked "what's up" to the husband and he replied the same with an added expletive. The woman ran for the door of her home to call 911 and turned only to see her friend lying on the ground unconscious.
Five days passed with no response from the alleged suspect, possibly, because of outstanding warrants according to police.