Man Arrested for Injuring Woman with Machete; Harland Identity Fraud Stems from Online Job Scam
A roundup of crime from around the White Lake-Highland area.
Area Patch sites provided the following reports. In all incidents where an arrest occurred, a charge is merely an accusation and not evidence of guilt.
Howell resident Ben Cameron, 30, was arrested and arraigned on charges of aggravated assault, possession of a dangerous weapon with unlawful intent and driving on a suspended license after cutting a woman's hand with a machete early Friday morning.
Livingston County Sheriff Bob Bezotte said that Cameron had been in an altercation with another man at Burrough's Tavern in Brighton and was told to leave by owner Joe Agius. Bezotte said Cameron left, but then returned about 15 to 20 minutes later carrying a machete.
The woman, another patron, was injured when she grabbed Cameron to stop him from searching for the other man. Bezotte said the woman was treated and released at the scene.
Contrary to other reports, Aguis told Brighton Patch that the man did not swing the machete at the woman, and that she cut herself reaching for Cameron.
"This girl who was a patron, and a friend of his I believe, came up around me and went to grab him, and she grabbed the knife," Agius said. "He never swung at her at all. She was grabbing at the knife and grabbing him and he was kind of pulling back. Once she started crying and fell to the ground, he fled instantly."
Agius also said that the woman was a patron, not one of his employees.
"No employees at Burrough's Tavern are allowed to get in the middle of any kind of altercation. We have a couple of big boys on staff that are paid as bouncers, but even they are only allowed to verbally de-escalate situations. If it got to the point where someone is unreasonable about leaving, we dial 911. On a situation like that, I'm the one who grabbed the guy and moved him outside. I could have easily got cut. It was crazy. I've never seen anything like that. Who comes into a place with a machete?"
According to Bezotte, the fight started because Cameron was hitting on the other man's ex-wife.
A new job at an online company for a laid-off 50-year-old Hartland man turned out to be an identity theft scam, according to a police report.
Police said a 73-year-old Hartland woman reported that her Sears Master Card had an unauthorized charge at a popular retail website. The woman told police that her address was used as the billing address, but the shipping address was a home on Austin Court in Hartland.
At the other home, the man told police he recently began working for an online company as a project coordinator. His job was to receive shipments from FedEx, photograph the contents, then repackage the shipments and ship them through the U.S. Postal Service in order to save the company on U.S. Customs fees, the report said.
The man told police that he had only received and shipped two packages for the company, and that both were sent to Moscow, Russia.
According to the report, the man became suspicious when he did not get paid through PayPal as he was supposed to, and filed a complaint with the Michigan Attorney General's Office.
An employee of a retail store at Twelve Oaks Mall contacted police Feb. 25 after receiving harassing calls from someone identifying himself as a police officer.
According to the Novi police report, the woman told police that she filed a report on Jan. 28 about the harassing calls, but they continued. Among the latest calls was one to a loss prevention employee at the store in which the woman works, the report indicated. The caller, who identifies himself as "Officer White," asked the loss prevention employee for the woman's social security number and when the employee refused, the caller threatened to kidnap the woman.
The report indicated the calls came from a phone number in Franklin, MS, and that similar incidents have happened to other employees at the same store.