Man found hiding in tree fort after deliberately sideswiping another vehicle in Barron Lake Thursday

HOWARD TOWNSHIP — A hit-and-run suspect has been apprehended after an incident near Barron Lake Thursday, according to the Cass County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies were dispatched to Barron Lake Road near Cook Street at 8:12 p.m. Thursday. Jeffrey Vankirk, 50, of Niles, told deputies that another driver spotted his vehicle and deliberately tried to ram into it. The suspect then sped up and sideswiped Vankirk’s vehicle before leaving the scene.

As deputies responded to the scene, they saw the suspect’s vehicle and attempted to pull the driver over. The suspect fled the scene, ditched the vehicle on a side street and fled on food.

Cass County K9 Faust tracked the suspect a half a mile into the wood, and found him in a child’s tree fort.

Vankirk and his passenger, Linda True, 52, of Niles, were wearing seat belts and were uninjured.

Deputies confirmed that alcohol was a factor in the crash.

The suspect’s name is withheld pending arraignment in 4th District Court.

The Pokagon Tribal Police assisted the Cass County Sheriff’s Office.

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