If on M-50 south of Brooklyn on Thursday afternoon, you may have witnessed significant police activity – 3 officers from Columbia Township. Michigan State Police Motor Carrier Division, Michigan State Police Canine Unit, Napoleon Township Police, and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division.  That inspired multiple social media posts.  What was going on?

At about 2 pm Columbia Township Police received a call for a welfare check on a residence in the 12000 block of M-50.    Welfare checks are defined as addressing concerns over health and safety at any location within the jurisdiction.  As officers were arriving for the welfare check, they observed an individual fleeing on foot in a northerly direction from the residence.  They recognized him as James E. Harsh, 53, of Brooklyn.  Police had prior knowledge of existing felony warrants for Harsh.  So, they pursued him.

As the efforts to locate Harsh were in progress, an investigation was also being conducted regarding his presence at the residence.   The investigation generated probable cause to support stalking activity, adding to the existing warrants.

Over concern for the community, police established a perimeter.  Other police agencies were called in to assist in the search.   Ultimately, officers patrolling Brooklyn located Harsh at about 11:45 pm hiding in a vehicle parked at a business on South Main Street.  Harsh was taken into custody and lodged at the Jackson County Jail on the felony warrants.

On Friday, February 23rd, 2024, Columbia Township Police forwarded a report to the Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney’s office for review.  James E. Harsh was charged with crimes in conjunction with this incident, adding to the already existing felony warrants:

  • Police Officer- Resisting / Obstructing a felony punishable up to 2 years’ incarceration.
  •  Stalking – Habitual offender- fourth offense notice, a felony punishable up to 5 years’ incarceration.

Harsh was brought before the 12th district court for arraignment on February 23rd, 2024, and is currently being held on $10,000 bond pending his next court date.

Police Chief Jay Niles comments “It was a good, solid collaborative effort that brought Harsh to justice.”