Crime

What Michigan Cops Did To This Bar Owner Cost 34 Reserve Officers Their Jobs

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

When a Michigan bar owner was confronted by three police officers while he was urinating in the parking lot of his own bar, he was left with a broken hand and bloody knees.

Jack Nadwornik, 58, has owned Tujax Tavern for 30 years. He was out celebrating his birthday with friends on May 10 when he stopped to urinate in a dark corner of the Delton bar at about 3:30 a.m.

Three officers, two of which were unpaid reserve officers, confronted Nadwornik who they claim resisted arrest. He says police broke bones in his hand, kneed him in the back and bloodied his knees.

Then-Barry Township police chief Victor Pierce defended the arrest.

Nadwornik was originally charged with a two-year felony for resisting arrest, but residents in the small town of 850 were outraged.

Citizens claimed the police force was growing overly aggressive and that Pierce’s 34 unpaid reserve officers were walking around with guns and badges although they weren’t certified police officers.

Prosecutors agreed to drop the felony charge if Nadwornik pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge.

Pierce resigned in July under increasing pressure from city residents. The reserve officer force was dismantled and the township is still looking for a new police chief.

Nadwornik pleaded guilty in Barry County District Court and paid a $200 fine, Detroit Free Press reported.

"It's good to have it over with," he said Friday morning.

Sources: Battle Creek Enquirer, Detroit Free Press

Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons / Ben Husmann