Marcelo Aranda is accused of assaulting 35-year-old Tyler Lueken on Aug. 19.
KENT COUNTY, Mich. — A former Kent County Sheriff’s Deputy accused of assaulting a man at a Lansing area rest stop while he was off-duty entered a “not guilty” plea in district court Thursday morning.
Marcelo Aranda of Allendale faces one count of assault and battery from an incident in August.
During his arraignment Aranda’s attorney says this episode has been mistakenly portrayed as a road rage incident.
Aranda is accused of assaulting 35-year-old Tyler Lueken on Aug. 19.
Lueken alleges following a confrontation on I-96, just east of Lansing, he pulled off the highway to a rest area to get away from Aranda.
Lueken claims Aranda approached his car yelling and eventually pulled him out and punched him on the ground.
Aranda and his attorney appeared before a 55th District Court magistrate via Zoom disputing those claims made by Lueken.
Aranda’s attorney says Lueken swerved and tried to hit Aranda’s vehicle.
Aranda presumed Lueken was drunk so he identified himself as an officer and got Lueken to pull over.
“This is an incident where he was trying to prevent a drunk driver from endangering others. This individual intentionally swerved at Mr. Aranda when he was driving back from a Tigers game with his children and his wife in the vehicle. He attempted to call 911 at least three times and did not get a response before he was able to get Mr. Lueken to pull over,” Josh Kuiper, Aranda’s attorney, said.
Lueken has been charged with a DUI in this incident.
Because Aranda has no criminal history, he was given a personal reconnaissance bond of $750.
Aranda is scheduled to appear before a judge for a pretrial conference on Monday, Oct. 3.
His attorney says that he feels very confident that Aranda will be exonerated of this charge.
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