Break-in suspects lead police on high-speed chase

Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK — A minivan with four people who police said broke into a house on O’Connor led police on a chase reaching 60 mph through the city Monday before being caught at Southfield Road and I-75 in Lincoln Park.

The driver was identified as Ashley Marie Shepard, 26, from Lincoln Park. The other three suspects were identified as Corey Deshawn Bellard, 24, of Lincoln Park; Bernard McGee, 46, of River Rouge; and Kaitlyn Ellen Smith, 22, of Newport.

Shepard was arraigned Tuesday in 24th District Court on second-degree home invasion, third-degree fleeing and eluding officers, and assault on a police officer. McGee, Smith, and Bellard were arraigned on second-degree home invasion. Bond was set at $50,000 for each defendant.

A preliminary examination of the evidence against them is set for 9 a.m. July 29 in front of 24th District Court Judge Richard Page.

On Monday, a witness called police and reported four individuals broke into a house in the 15600 block of O’Connor Avenue. Police arrived as the white minivan was backing out of the driveway and the Shepard ignored police sirens and continued east toward Allen Road.

Police said they could observe two occupants in the vehicle as they pursued the suspects. The vehicle traveled through a stop sign and onto Allen Road, where police said, the vehicle traveled about 60 mph, then ran a red light at Southfield Road.

The vehicle continued on Allen Road, went through another red light, and traveled through a parking lot and an alley onto eastbound Ecorse Road. The vehicle then ran another red light at Ecorse and Allen roads and turned north on Allen then east on Cleveland, where police said the vehicle traveled at 50 mph through several stop signs in an attempt to elude them.

The vehicle proceeded north on Abbott Road toward Southfield Road, and turned east Southfield when the left front tire blew out. Police said Shepard continued into Lincoln Park, where a Lincoln Park officer was waiting and joined the pursuit. Then the vehicle turned onto the North I-75 ramp.

Shepard jumped out of the vehicle while it was still moving, and ran up the onramp toward the freeway. The vehicle crashed into the guardrail and stopped.

Shepard continued to evade police on foot before being electronically subdued. Police said the passengers in the minivan did not try to run from police and were arrested.

Police said Shepard kicked at the arresting office and was taken to the ground by officers. While on the ground, she began to slam her head against the ground causing scratches and bruising to the left side of her head. Police said they had to hold her head down to prevent further injury.

While being put into a police vehicle, police said, Shepard repeatedly slammed her head into the side of the vehicle. Police said they responded by restraining Shepard and shackling her feet to the handcuffs.

The four suspects were transported to the Allen Park Police Department and Shepard was placed in a restraint chair, police said, until she calmed herself down.

(Gabriel Goodwin can be reached at