Crash victim’s family wants more transparency from sheriff’s department

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — A family is mourning and hoping for more transparency from the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office.

Norman Hood Jr. was killed by a Calhoun County deputy last week. According to the sheriff's office, the tragic crash happened at 9:36 p.m May 28.

The deputy was going to an emergency call when he hit the 11-year-old, who was riding on a motorized bike near the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Lennon Street in Battle Creek.

"There's a lot at play here and (Norman's) mom just wants to keep it moving," said the family's lawyer, Donald Sappanos. "Let's see what what the investigation figures out.

Michigan State Police are currently investigating the crash. There will also be an internal investigation done within the department.

Sappanos' office is currently conducting its own investigation.

"Now the information that we have obtained through witness interviews and investigations is showing that the officer, in our investigators' and witnesses' opinions, was speed," said Sappanos, although he wouldn't comment on how fast he believes the deputy was driving above the speed limit.

The Calhoun County Sheriff's Office has previously stated the deputy did not have the vehicle's emergency lights or sirens on.

Sheriff Matt Saxton would not comment on any factors of the crash such as speed until the MSP investigation is finished.

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5 comments

  • Local Tax Payer

    So, your child;
    Riding a motorized vehicle that he should not legally be operating;
    or
    Riding a motorized vehicle after dark without lights;
    is not the cause?

    Unfortunately a child is dead, but it could have been avoided, but no, its the officer’s fault! Because, the family now wants $$$$$$$

  • steve

    This lawyer sounds more like Shifty Shane than Perry Mason. He’s relying on his own obviously impartial investigators’ findings and the words of witnesses that at first had the victim riding in the middle of the street, then had him walking the bike, and then had him turning in front of the cruiser. The lawsuit that’s likely to follow will accomplish three things: First, the lawyer will make a good deal of money. Second, the monetary gain might help ease the pain somewhat of the family’s loss. And third, the cop will likely lose his job and get nothing. Sad.

  • ✠ Opinion8ed ✠ (@opinion8edguy)

    Yet another sad parent trying to fill the loss they were partly responsible for with the money of others and the job and reputation of someone else.

    I feel for any parent who loses a child but, come on, kid out at 9:30 at night while riding a motorbike they were not able to ride legally with no lights on ? It does not take a mathematician to add this all up and find the root causation.

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