TC man will face assault charges following confrontation with reporters | News

TRAVERSE CITY – A Traverse City man faces multiple misdemeanor charges after throwing a television reporter’s microphone and spat on her staff member at an event attended by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Michael Thomas Harrison, 39, will face two attacks and a battery, one for malicious destruction of property and one for disturbing the peace, according to Leelanau County Attorney Joe Hubbell.

Harrison was arrested Thursday by MPs who witnessed the confrontation with local reporters.

Hubbell approved the four misdemeanor charges on Tuesday, according to court records.

The incident took place at Discovery Pier, where Whitmer stopped to sign a bill authorizing a parkland purchase and development grant.

Harrison’s trial in the 86th District Court is pending.

Harrison is also accused of threatening Wendy Hirschenberger, director of the Grand Traverse County’s Department of Health, in an April incident.

The charge in this case, malicious use of a telecommunications service or device, follows an April 6 incident in which Harrison is accused of terrorizing, terrifying, or intimidating Hirschenberger with a cellphone by “threatening physical harm or harm.” … in the course of a conversation or a message … “according to court records.

On April 4, the day before the students returned to school after the spring break, area overseers announced that classes for middle and high school students would be practically for a week as the COVID-19 cases in children are in school age increased significantly. The virtual lessons were later extended for another week.

On April 7, Hirschenberger reported to the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners at its regular meeting that it had received threats regarding the decision and that it had notified law enforcement.

The indictment is an offense punishable by six months in prison and / or a fine of $ 1,000. An indictment is scheduled for May 21st.

Harrison has been free since May 6, having deposited interim bonds in both cases.

Leelanau County Sheriff Mike Borkovich said Harrison’s heckling against Whitmer, which preceded his confrontation with reporters, wasn’t out of the blue.

Borkovich said Harrison, who is a veteran, has had arguments in the past with people that started just before the November election.

Harrison, who lives on the M-72, also laid barbed wire around a political sign in his garden to support former President Donald Trump after several signs were stolen, Borkovich said.

“He got excited and things went downhill from there,” said Borkovich. “If you’re a veteran in this county and you can’t put up a sign, it’s pretty sad when people take it off.”

Borkovich said he would not speculate about Harrison’s behavior at Whitmer’s signing event.

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