Officer charged with leaving scene of accident fired

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

SOUTHGATE – For the second time in six months, a Southgate police officer is accused of felony crimes.

Southgate Police Chief Jeffrey Meussner confirmed last week that Officer Mitchell Heaney, 25, was dismissed from the department following his arraignment on Sept. 22 in 33rd District Court.

According to court officials, Heaney is charged with failure to stop at the scene of a serious personal injury accident, a felony, along with misdemeanors for a moving violation causing serious impairment of a body function and failure to stop at a property damage accident.

The charges reportedly stem from a collision in Brownstown Township that took place in August. Following the arraignment, Heaney was placed on administrative leave, pending last week’s decision.

“After an internal investigation, he was dismissed,” Meussner, who declined further comment, said.

Southgate police were notified in August that an off-duty officer was likely involved in a crash on Telegraph Road near Sibley which resulted in extensive injuries to a motorcycle driver.

The vehicle that crashed into the motorcycle left the scene, although evidence — including the bumper and license plate — was reportedly left behind. Police tracked down the owner of the vehicle, and it was alleged that Heaney was driving it at the time of the accident.

A preliminary examination is schedule for Oct. 25 before 33rd District Court Judge Jennifer Coleman Hesson. Heaney was free on a $10,000 personal bond.

Heaney is the second Southgate officer this year to face criminal charges.

In March, Southgate officer Emmanual Paravas resigned after allegations surfaced that he sexually abused a woman shortly after intervening in a domestic dispute between the woman and her husband.

Paravas resigned in March after an internal hearing was held, and was arraigned in May in 27th District Court. Paravas was bound over to Circuit Court, and awaits a December trial on Third Degree Criminal Sexual Assault, a 15-year felony.

(James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)

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