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Former DeWitt police officer will stand trial on 3 felony charges

He is accused of pulling gun on unarmed Black man while off duty
Former DeWitt police officer Chad Vorce pulled a gun twice on an unarmed Black teenager last year. Now the man he targeted, Alexander Hamilton, has filed a civil suit against Vorce and the City of DeWitt.
Posted at 8:42 PM, Jul 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-27 18:15:59-04

DEWITT, Mich.  — A judge decided Friday that there's enough evidence for former DeWitt Police Department Ofc. Chad Vorce, who is accused of pulling a gun on an unarmed Black teenager last year, to stand trial on three felony charges.

In April, Attorney General Dana Nessel's office charged Vorce with one count of felonious assault, one count of felony firearm possession and one count of misconduct in office, for an incident in January 2021.

Vorce, while off duty, is accused of pulling a gun on a 19-year-old Black man who was delivering newspapers for the Lansing State Journal. Vorce was fired in May, but an arbitrator forced the city of DeWitt to rehire him in December, which it did, but not as a police officer.

The 19-year-old victim, Alexander Hamilton, also filed a civil suit against Vorce and the city of DeWitt in April. His attorney Dustyn Coontz said he thinks the attorney general is under charging Vorce.

Just after 7 a.m. on Jan. 14, 2021, Vorce was taking his teenage son to school when he saw a gray van in his neighborhood that he found suspicious. Vorce approached the van in his red pickup truck wearing civilian clothes and asked the driver what he was doing. He was off duty at the time.

According to Vorce, cars had been getting broken into near his home, and he thought the driver fit the description of the suspect. The driver responded with, "I'm just doing me."

Vorce called 911. Vorce is heard on the 911 call saying there was a "Black male hanging out in the area" who "needs to be checked."

"The plate's covered up with dirt, so I can't get it," Vorce told the operator.

Vorce followed the driver, Hamilton, who later said he put his vehicle in reverse to try to speak with Vorce, but, when he reversed, Vorce did too. Vorce later said he thought the man was trying to ram him.

Vorce got out of his vehicle and pulled out his gun, pointing it at the driver. He told the 911 operator he was, "going to go shots fired if he does it again."

Hamilton said he saw the gun and left. He told investigators he thought he was going to get shot and wanted to get to somewhere public.o

They ended up at a Sunoco gas station, where Vorce blocked Hamilton's vehicle, identified himself as a police officer and demanded he exit, pointing his gun at him. A city of DeWitt police officer and a Michigan State Police trooper arrived shortly after. Hamilton was the one who was detained.

In dash-cam footage from the incident Hamilton said to police, "I'm out here every single night. Every time, I'm out here, a cop says something to me—each and every single time. I'm out here delivering newspapers."

FOX 47 News reached out to Vorce's attorney Patrick O'Keefe and the Attorney General's Office, but did not receive a call back from either.

Neither Hamilton's attorney nor the city of DeWitt responded when FOX 47 News reached out for an update on the civil suit.

Vorce's arraignment is scheduled for Aug. 15 at 9 a.m. at the Clinton County 29th Circuit Court.

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Lauren Shields

Lauren Shields

8:25 PM, Aug 21, 2019

Your Neighborhood Reporter

Lauren Shields

FOX 47 News Neighborhood Newsletter