Woman says bottle of urine was thrown at home

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. (WXYZ) — A Farmington Hills woman with signs supporting Joe Biden and the Black Lives Matter movement says she had a bottle filled with urine and “Trump 2020” written on it thrown at her home.

It’s just the latest incident in attacks against people who post signs supporting politics or social movements at their homes.

We’re not just seeing vandalism in Farmington Hills, but also acts of hatred and racism in Warren, where a Black family has been targeted three times this week.

All these incidents are targeted around politics and activism.

“It hurts. I’m angry. I’m telling the truth. This is not right. You should be able to talk about these things,” says Trisha Beauchesne.

Beauchesne says she found a Gatorade bottle full of urine and Trump 2020 written on the side thrown into her driveway this past weekend.

‘When I looked at it and I had a brave family member open it and smell it because I would not lie about it,” she says.

Trisha has many signs in her yard, supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Some of those have been spray painted. She posted the vandalism on Nextdoor to warn her neighbors.

“I want the neighbors and family and kids to know that this sort of thing is happening and that it is wrong, she says.

This isn’t the only incident happening in metro Detroit.

In Warren, a family has been targeted three times in racist attacks, once a rock thrown through their front window, graffiti posted on the vehicles and most recently a bullet shot into their home, right through the Black Lives Matter sign posted in the family’s front window.

“I’m so upset to where there’s nothing I can do to comfort my family,” they say. “We’re not hateful people we forgive him already. We want him to know that we just want you to stop.”

Vice President of Warren City council Gary Watts says this kind of hatred and racism isn’t warranted in the city.

“It’s not acceptable,” he says. “We need to find who did this with the vandalism on the home, shot you the home, and get justice brought to them.”

Trisha says this hatred and vandalism needs to stop.

“It’s not a surprise, but it’s very disappointing that people would do this, but I’m still not going to stop I think it’s important that we get this message out and that we can hopefully come together as a nation,” she says.

Trisha did file a police report with Farmington Hills police.

As for the incident on Warren, police are now offering a $3,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.



Inmate charged with murder in killing of officer

(WXYZ) — An inmate at the Wayne County Jail has been charged in connection to the murder of Wayne County Sheriff’s Corporal Bryant Searcy.

Related: Wayne Co. Corporal Searcy was ‘consummate professional,’ well-loved by coworkers

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced Wednesday morning that 28-year-old Deandre Williams has been charged with first-degree murder, murder of a police officer and felony murder. He has also been charged with unarmed robbery and escaping jail through violence.

Related: Union: Wayne County corporal’s 16-hour shift contributed to his murder

Last week, Searcy was inspecting jail cells alone when he was allegedly killed by Williams during a violent struggle. Williams was already charged with carjacking.

Related: Sources: Jail attack was ‘planned’ by inmate to murder Wayne County Sheriff’s corporal

“It has been almost a week since the horrific murder of Corporal Bryant Searcy and it is still very raw. Much has been said lately about the dangers that law enforcement officials face every day. This is no exaggeration. This case is a tragic example of this reality,”said Prosecutor Worthy.

Williams is expected to be arraigned on the new charges Wednesday morning.



Tenants complain about mold, leaking roofs

DETROIT (WXYZ) — When it rains heavily like it did today, most of us can go inside our homes to stay dry, but in one Detroit apartment complex some living on the second floor say its raining inside too and the issues extend far beyond.

Residents say Russell Woods Apartments was purchased by new owners in the fall, so the problems weren’t caused by the new owners, but at this point, residents had hoped the problems would be fixed.

On a day like today, a bad problem gets even worse.

In Kristina Fox’s unit: bubbles on the wall are soft and soggy, condensation builds along a crack running the length of the ceiling filling a kitchen pot, and despite using multiple fans black mold keeps appearing in her bathroom.

“You can wash it with the germicidal bleach, but because there’s holes and moisture keeps getting in. Mold keeps coming right back and back, like 2 weeks later,” says Fox.

Section 8 housing inspectors were here in March and again in June issuing a notice of needed repairs to the landlords, but Fox says very little on the list has been addressed.

Carolyn Welch lives a few buildings over on the same property.

“I’ve been here for 10 years and I’ve always had this problem with my ceiling busting loose and it’s raining in my apartment,” says Welch.

There’s a lot of patchwork on her apartment unit ceiling, but she says it never holds for long.

“The ceiling by the bathroom has bust back loose again,” Welch says showing us the hole in her ceiling and the bucket catching the dripping water.

Walking through the building we saw many areas where the ceiling is damaged, lights with exposed wires and moisture coming through, doors not properly set in the door jam.

Fox is also dealing with medical issues and she worries the apartment could make her health worse.

“I’m living in an apartment that has black mold In the ceiling,” says Fox.

She wants to move, but section 8 vouchers don’t pay moving expenses or security deposits and she says she feels stuck.

“In a pandemic with MS (multiple sclerosis) lupus and a heart condition, I have no place to go and no means to get there and I don’t know what to do,” says Fox.

Her sister started a GoFundMe to help raise money for moving costs.

7 Action News Reporter Jennifer Ann Wilson called the City of Detroit and they sent out an inspector immediately.

The inspector found evidence of roof leaks, as well as standing water in the basement due to a crack in the foundation wall. The management company has been informed and told the city they plan to make repairs.

The inspector will return Monday to finish inspecting the rest of the units on the property.



Man wanted for shooting at police officers

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Detroit Police need your help in identifying and locating the man wanted in connection with firing shots at officers on the city’s west side early Thursday.

On Aug. 27 around 3:15 a.m., officers from the 8th Precinct were shot at by an unknown person inside of a white Kia, while conducting an investigation outside of a motel on Telegraph near 6 Mile.

Man wanted for targeting Detroit police officers in shooting on city’s west side

DPD says three people were subsequently arrested and detained after a vehicle matching the description of the Kia was seen in the area of Blackstone near Outer Drive.

Investigators believe another person may be involved and need assistance in identifying and locating this suspect armed with a long gun.

Shots Fired Suspect 8-27-20.png

If anyone has seen this man, knows where he could be or has any information about to this shooting, they are asked to call Detroit Police at 313-596-2260 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-Speak Up.



Teen dies from boating accident injuries

WHITE LAKE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — A 15-year-old girl died after sustaining severe injuries while boating on Mandon Lake Monday.

Nicole Shoup was with her boyfriend on a pontoon Monday evening when she either jumped or fell into the water, police say. Her boyfriend was driving the pontoon.

The girl was struck by the propeller of the boat and sustained severe injuries to her legs. Police say the boyfriend was eventually able to pull the girl back onto the boat and take her back to shore.

The teen was then taken to McLaren- Oakland Hospital by EMS where she later died.

Investigators say alcohol and drugs don’t appear to be a factor in this case, which remains under investigation.

A GoFundMe account has been created by a neighbor of the family to help them through the tragedy. Donations can be sent here.



Dance studio struggling to stay open amid COVID-19 pandemic


WESTLAND, Mich. (WXYZ) — There are many businesses still struggling to stay open amid the pandemic.

Gyms and fitness centers have not been able to welcome back staff and customers because of the shutdown.

A dance studio owner in Westland wants to reopen her doors safely as soon as possible.

Ambert Gilbert of the Dance Academy is asking Governor Gretchen Whitmer to ungroup dance studios with gyms.

“Look at dance studios as an individual small business and take it case-by-case,” Gilbert said.

The Dance Academy sits on the lower level of the Westland Shopping Center. The mall is open but the studio is not.

They shut down in March and have not been able to open back up for group classes.

“Struggling not to let our business go out of business,” Gilbert said.

The Dance Academy has been offering private one on one lessons during the shutdown. But it’s not enough.

Gilbert has had to get a second job to provide for her family.

“I deliver groceries now because we have no income from the studio.”

Amber says they should be able open at least at 30 percent capacity.

She created an example with a few students to show us what to expect.

They have safety regulations in place, like temperature checks at the door, hand sanitizer, masks will be required and there are spots taped off to ensure social distancing.

The chairs in the lobby are spaced out as well.

Other than door knobs and ballet bars, there are very little surfaces that can be touched.

Gilbert says with a set schedule they will know exactly who is in to class.

“We know when they are coming and when they are going which is contrary to the gym model.”

Kimberly Vankerckhove is the mother of a dance student.

“It’s hard because she loves dance. She’s here, this is her second home,” she said.

Kimberly’s daughter Madison has been dancing for eight years.

She feels it is safe to return to the studio under these new measures.

They are hoping the business won’t close for good.

She added, “We would be devastated.”

Gilbert says she is three months behind on rent and since March, the Dance Academy has lost more than $150,000.

“I’ve applied for every grants and loans that has come across as available and I’ve only gotten a few small ones that has basically been carrying out basic bills,” she said.

The new dance season kicks off in September but it’s unclear what the future holds.

“I’m just struggling to stay open.”

7 Action News reached out to Governor Whitmer for a comment. We are waiting to hear back.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s orders since the outbreak, coronavirus’ impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.



Private school plans outdoor, camp-like class

OXFORD, Mich. (WXYZ) — Upland Hills School in Oxford doesn’t look like your traditional classroom setting; that’s because it’s not. But it is where around 90 students will be learning come fall, including Alicia Stewart’s two sons.

The independent tuition-based school has always used a very “nature forward” approach to learning, and this year, due to COVID-19, will rely on that model even more.

“I did venture out to Target just recently and I saw all the back-to-school supplies and I don’t really have to get any of that,” Stewart said.

What is on her back-to-school list, is bug spray, camping pads, and hats with mosquito netting.

“What I’m doing now is I’m searching REI, I’m searching Patagonia, I’m going to my local camping stores,” she said.

Upland Hills has been around for 48 years providing a non-traditional approach to learning for kids as young as four, and now, through high school age.

The school has a ropes course and a CSA farm on its property, so kids are also provided with true “farm-to-table” meals.

“We have a long history of being a nature-based school and we’re in this beautiful setting, 30 acres in the woods here. So to be outside for 2-3 hours a day is really typical for our students,” said Director of School Rob Himburg.

Because of COVID, outdoor learning will be central this fall. However, the school does also offer online learning.

“This is going to be my new classroom for the coming year,” said teacher Robert Crowe, walking around one of the school’s former gardens.

Social distancing should be easy outdoors and class sizes are always pretty small, given that Upland Hills only has around 70 families.

Crowe said he wants to make sure students can get their work done outside too.

“To be able to focus outdoors is not easy. So the solution I hit on was for every child to have their own individual tent,” he said. Crowe said being able to learn in the outdoors gives students a unique sense of agency, something that traditional classrooms don’t always provide.

Students may also learn in larger, four-season tents, which can be heated in the winter.

The school also has an indoor space, in the event teachers and students would need to go inside.

Lessons will usually circle back to nature in some way, so that students are learning basic skills like mathematics in a hands-on way, like building a greenhouse Himburg said.

Tuition for Upland Hills is a little more than $11,000 annually, making this out of reach for some families.

For Stewart, whose kids started at Upland Hills last year, this approach to learning has been really special, and offered her sons an education she doesn’t think they could get elsewhere.

Classes at Upland Hills begin Aug. 17.

Statewide, many districts are still in the process of deciding what approach is best for teachers and students: online learning, face-to-face, or a combination of the two. Gov. Whitmer is leaving the decision up to individual districts as long as Michigan remains in phase 4 of re-opening.



Hundreds of tires dumped in Detroit

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Neighbors on Detroit’s west side are calling for a sea of tires to be removed from a property.

“It’s horrifying, horrifying,” said Happy Homes Neighborhood Association President Charlotte Blackwell. “We should not have to live like this.”

There’s also at least one abandoned building at the site. It’s located near the intersection of 14000 block of Ward Ave and Intervale Street.

The blight has been an issue for more than a year, according to neighbors. The city claims they took legal action against the property owner. However, the property has remained a nuisance.

Lawrence Garcia, Corporation Council for City of Detroit released a statement:

Last year the city sued for and obtained a judgment allowing it to go onto the property to remove these illegally dumped tires. The property owner then filed paperwork to have the judgment set aside, but the owner failed to put the question before the judge at a hearing. Given the property owner’s continued inaction to address this problem, the city will enforce the original judgment, remove the tires and bill the property owner for the expense. In the coming week we will be onsite assessing the equipment and resources that will be needed to clear these tires and determine the approximate cost, which the property owner will have to bear.

Residents said it’s a breeding ground for insects and animals.

7 Action News crews spotted what appeared to be a coyote near the property.

Concerned residents fear a fire could devastate the entire neighborhood. They’re calling for the city to take swift action.



Offensive rant captured on video

SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — A disturbing video captured on a cell phone camera shows a man hurling derogatory insults to young protesters in Shelby Township.

The racist rant had misogynist overtones and was seemingly unprovoked. The intense altercation was posted online and has more than 13,000 views.

The unknown man is apparently a counter-protester who berates a young woman with a litany of offensive words. Some were too insulting to play on television.

For weeks, protesters have been gathering outside police headquarters to call for an end to injustices against Black people and for the Shelby Township police chief to resign.

RELATED: Shelby Township trustees vote to suspend police chief after comments supporting police brutality

The young woman who recorded the video is Samantha. She did not want to provide her last name out of fear of retaliation.

“I was trying to stay keep calm because we are a peaceful group,” Samantha said. “I didn’t want to spew any hate on him more than he was spewing on me.”

Shelby Township police chief Robert Shelide was suspended for a month after it was disclosed he had a fake Twitter account and was glorifying police brutality and made inflammatory remarks about the Black Lives Matter movement.

The unknown man is facing backlash on social media.

“This is the type of language that contributes violence towards women and it is 100 percent not okay,” Samantha said. “He was making sexual remarks to girls as young as 15 years old.”

Demonstrators hope social media will help identify the man to hold him accountable.

7 Action News reached out to Chief Shelide for comment and did not immediately hear back.