Intoxicated individual arrested for stealing GV golf cart


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Adam Trombley

The Grand Valley Police Department has seen its fair share of incidents involving alcohol throughout the years, and this case was no different as an officer pulled over an individual who not only was driving while intoxicated, but they were also driving a golf cart that was stolen from Grand Valley State University property. 

While an officer was on a nightly patrol around West Campus Drive late Thursday night into Friday morning, they noticed a pair of headlights that did not resemble the headlights of a normal car or truck. After closer inspection, they realized it was a golf cart heading away from campus. The individual who was driving was then pulled over.

“This highlights one of the many examples where alcohol can induce you to make a decision you wouldn’t otherwise make that leads to consequences that you otherwise wouldn’t experience,” said GVPD Capt. Jeffrey Stoll.

In this situation, alcohol is believed to be one of the factors that lead to the individual taking the golf cart. The officer performed a traffic stop, and the individual was arrested and ultimately taken to jail for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. It is believed that the individual wanted to take the golf cart for a joyride but was caught in the process of doing it. 

“That offense falls under the umbrella of stolen vehicles,” Stoll said. “There are several different charges that are associated with that. There is actually a charge for joyriding and that is what they have been charged with by the prosecutor.”

The individual responsible for the incident is now going through the student conduct process through GVSU, as well as going through the criminal process through the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office. 

This was the first time the GVPD has had a golf cart get stolen from GVSU’s property and Stoll says this may be one of the more unique interactions and incidents they have come across since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

Stoll said the defendant was not noticed to be driving recklessly as they were headed towards the off-campus housing areas, but it is fortunate that he did not injure himself or others while driving the vehicle while intoxicated.

Stoll wants students to understand the importance of planning ahead and being safe when they know they will or have consumed alcohol.

“You want to make sure you always have a designated driver,” Stoll said. “You want to have someone who can make rational decisions at the party to help keep everyone safe as much as possible. Plan about what you are going to do; stay connected with your friends.”

Stoll has noticed that a lot of times when individuals do things they would not normally do, alcohol has something to do with it. In this case, it is likely a factor that played into the dangerous decision. 

As the weather heats up and more people are outside doing stuff and gathering together, Stoll says the GVPD will be out and about interacting with the community and trying to keep everyone safe.