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Police: Officer Hurt, Man Killed In Dispute Over Escort

WARREN (WWJ) – A Warren police officer has been released from the hospital after he was shot in the chest as he arrived to intervene in a dispute over escort services.

Officer Don Viars, 35, was saved by the bullet proof vest he was wearing.  His shooter was killed by police.

Police Commissioner Jere Green said the incident, at a home near 9 Mile Road and Van Dyke, began over an argument between two roommates and an escort about payment for “services rendered.”

“We concluded that the relationship was that these two men had sought out female company that night and went on Backpage.com, and made contact with this young lady who arrived at their house around midnight,” Green told WWJ Newsradio 950.

Green said, when they men wouldn’t pay the requested amount, the escort called her “bodyguard,” Robert Day, who was in the area.

Green said Day showed up, kicked in the door and put a gun to one of the roommates’ heads.

Someone called the police, and that’s when Day allegedly walked out of the home and shot Viars.

Police returned fire and killed him.

Green said he didn’t expect any charges to be filed against the escort, a 21-year-old downriver woman, who cooperated with police. Her name was not released.

Wednesday’s was the latest in a series of criminal incidents in recent months involving Backpage.com.

Earlier this summer, federal agents, in a multi-state crackdown, rescued six young teens who were forced to work as prostitutes in Metro Detroit.  They were advertised on Backpage and other adult websites.

In December, the bodies of four women, three who had advertised escort services on the site, were found in the trunks of abandoned cars in Detroit.

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