Lansing man faces charges after GRPD officer hit with own baton

Grand Rapids

Danny Demetrius Hairston’s May 26, 2021, booking photo from the Kent County jail.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Five felony charges have been issued against a man accused of grabbing a Grand Rapids police officer’s baton and hitting him with it, breaking his ribs.

Danny Demetrius Hairston, 25, of Lansing, faces charges of attempting to disarm a police officer of a firearm, assaulting a police officer causing injury, larceny, disarming a police officer other than a gun and attempting to disarm a police officer other than a gun.

The charges stem from a May 26 incident at the Verizon store that shares a building with the Ace hardware on Michigan Street NE near Fuller Avenue. Store manager Ron Roy told News 8 last week that Hairston tried to steal some cellphones, headphones and car keys. Surveillance video from the store shows Roy tackling Hairston before police took over.

The Grand Rapids Police Department says Hairston fought with the officer trying to arrest him, trying to grab the officer’s gun and Taser. Police say Hairston did get hold of the officer’s collapsible baton and hit him with it.

A second officer then arrived and used a Taser on Hairston, who was arrested. He’s been in jail ever since.

GRPD said Tuesday that the officer sustained four broken ribs. His name hasn’t been released, but police say he has been with the department for 23 years.

“While I never wish a community member to put themselves in harm’s way, I am thankful to the Verizon employee who stepped in to help my officer,” GRPD Chief Eric Payne said in a Tuesday statement.

The attempted disarming a firearm charge is punishable by up to five years in prison, the resisting, larceny and disarming non-firearm are punishable by four years in prison and the attempted disarming of a non-firearm by two years.

Jail records show Hairston was also arrested by GRPD May 14 on several larceny charges.

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