ALLEGAN, Mich. (WOOD) — A man accused of seriously injuring an Allegan County sheriff’s deputy who was trying to arrest him has been charged with five felonies, including attempted murder.
At arraignment Wednesday afternoon, Allegan County Prosecutor Myrene Koch asked for a $100,000 bond for Christopher Gerou. She cited the seriousness of the charges against him and said the deputy was “severely injured” with “significant head trauma.” She also pointed out that Gerou is a habitual offender.
“We do believe that Mr. Gerou, based on all of this, would be a significant flight risk and there is nothing that would be tying him to the Allegan County area,” Koch said.
“That is not true,” Gerou, appearing in court from the jail via video call, retorted.
The 35-year-old from Dorr said he has lived in the Allegan area his whole life.
“I’ve always helped everyone. I’ve always…” he said before the magistrate handling the proceedings interrupted him.
“Sir, I recognize your name. That’s what I mean by knowing you’re from here,” Attorney Magistrate Daniel Norbeck said.
Gerou’s court-appointed defense attorney said he has family and friends in the area and said that he had been employed. Koch said Gerou told investigators he was recently fired.
Though he acknowledged the seriousness of the case, Norbeck noted that Gerou has not had a criminal conviction since 2014. Koch said that was because he spent eight years in prison.
“I haven’t been in trouble … since I got out,” Gerou said.
“He has no abscondings on his record, either,” Norbeck said.
“And I am a very good worker,” Gerou said.
Norbeck set Gerou’s bond at $10,000.
The Allegan County Sheriff’s Office said Gerou assaulted the deputy who was trying to arrest him Monday night. A court document says the deputy suffered a fractured skull and a brain bleed. He remained in the hospital Wednesday, Sheriff Frank Baker told News 8.
“We are happy to be able to report that we are seeing improvement. We’ve been updated regularly and he is starting to show some type of improvement over his condition that night,” Baker said.
He said the deputy has been on the force for two years and previously served as military police in the U.S. Navy.
“The deputy has done a great job for us. We are proud of the efforts that he has put in,” he said.
The deputy was sent to a neighborhood in the area of 142nd Avenue and 16th Street in Dorr Township on a report that someone was driving back and forth at a high rate of speed without headlights. Baker said the deputy found Gerou outside his home and called for backup after noting Gerou was agitated and likely drunk. A Michigan State Police trooper soon arrived.
“(The deputy) went to place the individual under arrest, at which time the suspect then struck him and created a head injury that resulted in him being incapacitated,” Baker told News 8. “To the point where the state trooper, who was on scene fortunately, was able to take over and actually effect the arrest.”
According to a probable cause document filed with the court, after Gerou admitted to driving to the end of his driveway to get his mail, the deputy gave him a roadside sobriety test and Gerou then refused to take a portable breath test.
‘(Gerou) stated, ‘you’re not getting no blood from me, you can (expletive) off and die,'” the court document says.
The deputy told Gerou he was under arrest but Gerou started walking away, the document says.
“(The deputy) attempted to grab Gerou’s wrist at which point Gerou abruptly turned around and struck (the deputy) with his right arm in the head/neck, rendering him unconscious as he fell to the driveway,” the document says.
When the MSP trooper tried to grab Gerou’s wrist, he again pulled off and used an expletive, the court document says. The trooper pulled his Taser and Gerou gave it up.
“While Gerou was laying on the ground at taser-point he stated, ‘I hope he’s dead’ referring to (the deputy) who was still laying unconscious on the driveway and was later found to be bleeding from the back of his head,” the document says.
Baker said his deputies typically patrol alone.
“You always know there is a risk involved in doing this work, but sometimes that risk comes so quick, you don’t have any time to prepare for it,” he said.
He said his department is familiar with Gerou’s house — deputies have been called there before. A neighbor recalled seeing deputies at the house “a couple time that I know of this year alone.” She wasn’t surprised when she saw flashing lights Monday night.
“I thought, ‘Uh-oh, something’s going on again down there,'” Dee Longstreet said.
She added that she had previously seen the same car driving fast in the neighborhood.
“I was worried about the kids in the neighborhood that ride their bikes and stuff down the street,” Longstreet said. “I thought, my gosh, he is going to hit one of these kids if they’re out playing.”
Gerou was discharged from the Michigan Department of Corrections in August 2022 after serving about eight years in prison for assault by strangulation, online records show. MDOC records show he previously served time for assaulting a police officer in 2007 and for home invasion and marijuana convictions in 2010. Court records show he has prior arrests for assaulting a prison employee and domestic violence.
The charges against Gerou now include assault with intent to murder; assaulting, resisting and obstructing police causing serious impairment; assault with intent to do great bodily harm; operating while intoxicated; and assaulting, resisting and obstructing a police officer, court records show. The attempted murder charge is punishable by up to life in prison.
He is scheduled to appear in court for a probable cause conference Sept. 21 and again for a preliminary hearing on Sept. 27.
—News 8’s Demetrios Sanders contributed to this report.