West Central Michigan
The QDMA REACH Program
REACH is an aggressive national education and outreach program from the Quality Deer Management Association that benefits hunters, landowners and deer managers in several ways. REACH is the acronym for Research, Educate, Advocate, Certify and Hunt.
Dave Bopp, President
Jim Blaszak, Vice President:
VIDEO: Javonte Higgins arrested Friday in Chicago suburb
Javonte Higgins, the man wanted in the murders of a Kentwood couple in their home, struggled with police when arrested south of Chicago on Friday and continued to resist them in jail, police said.
"He did not want to go peacefully, let's put it that way," said Blue Island Police Chief Philip Contreras.
Police on Saturday described how almost real-time tips from an informant and a quickly drawn plan led to the arrest of Higgins, 22, a suspect in the Jan. 5 murders of David and Vivian Bouwman in their Kentwood home .
Blue Island, about 170 miles from Kentwood, is a town criss-crossed by train tracks leading to and from Chicago, a city that's not an island at all, but a spot on top of a hill, and a city that didn't hesitate to help arrest a man considered armed and dangerous.
"This was something that could potentially be very, very bad," Contreras said. "It could involve a shoot-out; it could involve residents getting hurt, a hostage situation; anything could happen if it's not done correctly."
It started about noon Friday, when Grand Rapids Police called Blue Island Police with a tip from an informant -- that Higgins was at a condominium complex in the city just south of Chicago.
"I don't know whether he was living (at the complex), whether he was visiting, whether he had just gotten to that area," Contreras said. Grand Rapids Police fed updates from the informant directly to a Blue Island police sergeant, Contreras said.
"He was getting steady information from whoever was informing the detective in Grand Rapids. It was pretty instantaneous."
Police in Blue Island came up with a plan, hoping to catch Higgins in a car in a more-desolate part of town after he left the condo.
"We didn't want a car chase to take off, so the plan was to keep the vehicle in that location."
Within 90 minutes, five Blue Island officers and about seven members of an FBI Fugitive Task Force were in place. Neighbors said some were hiding behind a nearby apartment building.
After a tip that Higgins was on the move, police pulled over a green Pontiac Grand Prix with Michigan plates, Contreras said. Officers and FBI agents, with guns drawn, quickly surrounded the car.
Higgins, who was a passenger in the car, struggled with police, Contreras said. It took several officers to handcuff him, he said.
Police said they found a handgun in the car, though it's not clear if it was the alleged murder weapon.
The driver of the car, whose name was not released, was ticketed for driving on a suspended license.
Higgins continued to struggle with police at the Blue Island lock-up and refused to talk with Kentwood detectives who arrived Friday evening, Contreras said.
He is scheduled to appear in court Sunday at the Cook County Criminal Courts Building for a bond hearing on a charge of resisting Blue Island officers. It's not clear when he would face an extradition hearing to return to West Michigan.
"There's a lot of pride in doing this job, and I think this coming together and us helping the residents (of Kentwood) and the family to close this makes it even better," the Blue Island chief said.