MILFORD (WWJ) - Police say two men were arrested on robbery and carjacking charges after an apparent drug deal turned sour.
Milford Police say 22-year old Nathaniel Ashbrook, of Highland Township, and 33-year old Neal Pollman, of Novi, have been behind bars since their arraignment in 52-1 District Court. Ashbrook is charged with armed robbery, felony firearm possession and unlawfully driving away of motor vehicle, while Pollman is charged with armed robbery. Both received a $20,000 bond.
The charges stem from an incident that happened before 6 a.m. Tuesday in the area of Commerce and Summit streets in Milford, where a man reported that he had just been carjacked at gunpoint by two men.
Police responded to a different complaint of a disturbance in the same general area and were able to take a suspect, later identified as Pollman, into custody relating to the reported carjacking. Investigation at the scene revealed that the second suspect had fled the area with the stolen vehicle.
Officers put out a be-on-the-lookout call for the vehicle, which was recovered a short time later by Oakland County Sheriff’s deputies in Highland Township with heavy damage that occurred when the vehicle was intentionally driven into a tree, police said. After canvassing the area, police concluded that the suspect fled on foot after the crash.
Follow-up investigation revealed that the incident was not a random carjacking, police said, but rather the victim had arrived at the pre-arranged location to sell the suspects LSD — an illegal psychedelic drug. Police said it was never the intention of the suspects to pay for the drugs, and a small-caliber, semi-automatic weapon was brandished to force the victim from his vehicle.
Investigators conducted numerous interviews of “less-than-cooperative witnesses” and executed a search warrant of the suspect’s vehicle, which led to Ashbrook being identified as the second suspect. At approximately 12:15 a.m. Wednesday, Ashbrook was taken into custody while at a friend’s home in Highland Township.
“It was evident early on in the investigation this was not a random criminal act and there was much more to the story told by the victim,” Milford Police Chief Tom Lindberg said in a statement. ”I am extremely happy nobody was injured or killed during the commission of this crime and satisfied we were able to bring this to a successful conclusion in relatively short order.”
Police say additional charges may be considered on other subjects related to this incident, but not directly involved with the suspect’s actions, at a later date.