Detroit police officer suspended after getting caught in stolen Dodge Challenger, fleeing

September 15, 2021, 6:30 PM by  Violet Ikonomova

The crashed vehicle. (Detroit police body camera)

Detroit police have had to pursue their fair share of stolen Dodge muscle cars this summer, but they got a surprise Sunday when they found one of their own riding shotgun in one. 

The officer, a 2-year veteran of the force who was off duty, has been suspended after allegedly resisting and obstructing following a traffic stop over the stolen vehicle, Deadline Detroit has learned from sources within the department. He was jailed and released Tuesday pending further investigation.

Police pursued the Challenger, believing it might be stolen, in the area of Grand River and Washburn. It crashed into a parked car about a block away, at Fullerton, after the driver ran a stop sign and jumped the curb onto someone's lawn. Both he and the officer in the passenger seat escaped on foot, running between houses. The officer involved was later picked up after police recognized him in a review of dash camera footage.

Chief James White will on Thursday ask the Board of Police Commissioners to withhold the officer's pay during his suspension, a department spokesman said. The department held a 2 p.m. news conference addressing the incident and described the vehicle as a re-tagged Dodge Charger. Officers who responded to the scene reported it had the body of a Challenger.

The officer tasked with helping dispatch an internal affairs investigator to review the alleged misconduct was Sgt. Stephen Kue, who was recently taken off the streets after a WXYZ report revealed he'd accumulated a whopping 85 citizen complaints in a little over a decade on the force. He's now with the department's notification and control section. 

The department did not respond for comment on Kue's new assignment.

This story was updated with additional details Thursday morning.

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