EMMET COUNTY – On Aug 17, 2022, The Michigan State Police (MSP) Gaylord Post responded to a 911 call A Petoskey resident reported to 911 that a man was yelling for help. Troopers searched the area and found two people sitting on the break wall near Bay View. A 21-year-old Florida woman had severe injuries to her right arm. A 41-year-old Massachusetts man suffered injuries to his head and face. The man yelling for help was 27-year-old Elijah William Townsend from Grand Rapids.
The Harbor Springs Police Department used their marine patrol boat to rescue Townsend from a sinking boat drifting from shore. EMS personnel arrived to treat and transport the victims to McLaren Hospital in Petoskey with non-life-threatening injuries. The initial investigation indicates they had left Harbor Springs in a 2020 Chaparral at an unknown time to go boating. It appears they struck the break wall in Bay View at a high rate of speed, which caused the Florida woman and Massachusetts man to be ejected from the boat Townsend stayed with the boat as began to sink. The MSP Crime Lab analysis of Townsend’s blood indicated his blood alcohol content was over three times the legal limit. Which led to an arrest warrant being issued.
Townsend was arraigned in the 90th District Court in Emmet County for two counts of Operating a Watercraft Under the Influence Causing Injury, and one count of Marine Safety Operating Under the Influence. He remains lodged in the Emmet County Jail on a $5,000 bond. His next scheduled court appearance is on December 7, 2022,