Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on August 8, 1981 · Page 3
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · Page 3

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Saturday, August 8, 1981
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how you can call us City News Desk 222-6600 Classified Gold Ads 222-5000 Insurance Dept. 222-6470. For Home Delivery 222-6500 All Other Calls 222-6400 today's chuckle One of the hardest decisions is when, officially, to start middle age. Section A, Page 3 SECOND FRONT PAGE Saturday, August 8, 1981 An upset win, and a between-innings rescue By BRIAN FLANIGAN and JACK KRESNAK Free Press Staff Writers Two softball teams from an East Detroit church league will line the bar at Suszy's in Roseville Monday night and drink to their hearts' content. "They can have whatever they want," said owner Edgar Hamel Friday. "I wouldn't be here if it weren't for . . . those gentlemen." Hamel, 38, who has been "working 20 or 22 hours a day" since opening the bar two weeks ago, fell asleep in his East Detroit home Wednesday with a lit cigaret in his hand. When he awoke, he was trapped in his burning bedroom. Only a human chain of softball players and the help of his close friend and neighbor saved his life. AT ABOUT 6:30 P.M. Wednesday, Hamel, who bought Suszy's after being laid off from Chrysler's Huber Avenue foundry, fell asleep in the second-floor bedroom of his home on David Street. "For 72 hours, I hadn't gotten any sleep," he said Friday. "I bought myself the bar . . . and I'd been meeting salesmen, learning the business." About 40 minutes later, Hamel said he awoke after "dream- Softball players form ladder to save life in blazing home lng I was in a forest fire, it was that hot. Across the middle of the room was just flame, a wall of fire." "I was in a panic," Hamel said. "I finally beat on the window and opened it ... I started yelling out the window." ABOUT 200 YARDS away, Michael Krotche, 39, an off-duty Detroit police lieutenant playing second base for the St. Veronica's softball team, was trotting onto the field when he heard Hamel's screams. Members of his team and the opposition from St. Barnabas' dropped their bats and gloves and ran toward Hamel's home, where smoke was "billowing from the upstairs windows," Krotche said. Hamel's screams had also rousted his neighbor, Jerry Adam, from a shower. Adam ran into Hamel's house and up the stairs but couldn't get through the flames in the bedroom. "I yelled for him to get my ladder," Hamel said, "and then it dawned on me that we didn't have a ladder." BUT ONE of the St. Veronica's players, Patrick O'Brien, quickly found a short stepladder in Adam's garage, according to Krotche. "Pat set up the stepladder, and I yelled at the guy to climb out on the ledge," Krotche said, "but he wouldn't do it. He just kept screaming, 'I'm burning! I 'm burning!' " Hamel said later, "They told me to jump. I'm looking down, and I said, 'I ain't jumping.' I was panicking." AS KROTCHE climbed the stepladder, O'Brien and the other ballplayers climbed on each Others' shoulders and held onto the house, forming a human ladder to support him. Krotche slid one leg across to an air conditioner in an adjoining window, trying to position his metal baseball spikes so they wouldn't slip. "I told him (Hamel) I'd get to him somehow and not to worry," Krotche said, "but I was getting a little worried, because I could see the flames ... I knew we didn't have much time." Krotche finally convinced Hamel to come out through the window and supported the burned man on his shoulders until See RESCUE, Page11A Edgar Hamel leans out the window through which he was rescued. Free Press Photo by RICHARD LEE :::::::: :tx, W i Deroo Slain woman's husband held on sex charges By RICK RATLIFF Free Press Staff Writer A Macomb County man, whose wife and two of his three children were murdered in their beds last month, was arrested Friday and charged with two counts of sexual as sault. The charges stem from incidents appar ently unrelated to the murders. Robert M. Deroo, 25, was being held Friday night in the Macomb County Jail on a total bond of $300,000 for two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, each of which carries a maximum 15-year prison sentence, Macomb County Sheriff William Hackel said. Hackel said the case has nothing to do with last month's slayings, and did not reveal when the alleged sexual assaults occurred. ANOTHER POLICE source familiar with the case said the alleged victim was a minor girl, but the Macomb Sheriff's Department refused to give details about the victim. Deroo was arrested at 4 p.m. Friday by Macomb County deputies and St. Clair Shores police and arraigned a short time later before 41st (Utica) District Judge Herman Campbell. Deroo's wife, Deborah Jane, 25, son Na thaniel, 4, and daughter Jessica Anne, 17 months, were found murdered July 1 6 in their Macomb Township home. Mrs. Deroo had been strangled in her bed, while Nathaniel and Jessica Anne had been suffocated, police; said. A third child, Nicholas, 3, was found alive, though police said bruises on his neck indicat ed the killer had also attempted to murder him. Deroo told police last month he had been drinking and bowling with friends, later went alone to a restaurant, and discovered the bodies when he returned home after 2 a.m. GOP ipPifc B'BlIBI 'iMiMiiiiiHiiiii iftiiiis i AP Photo A cloud of gas escapes from the tank car after the derailment in Bridgman. 2,600 evacuated after train derails, leaks noxious cargo Michigan LdkB Train Derailment P Bridgman IND. ILL Map by MOSES HARRIS By PETER GAVRILOVICH Free Press Staff Writer BRIDGMAN Vandalism may have caused the derailment of a tank car here Friday that led to the evacuation of at least 2,600 area residents in a six-square-mile area from Bridgman and nearby Lake Township, police and railroad officials said. Officials said they hoped the evacuees could begin moving back home Saturday morning. The derailed tank car was punctured and spilled Its noxious corrosive liquid cargo. Police found a nut and a bolt they believe had been removed from a railroad switch before the 77-car train passed over the Berrien County track about 5:15 a.m., said Chessie System Superintendent George Athanas in Detroit. Fourteen of the cars derailed, including the mm Cflllflfl ilfflf qyp qgyp g mm Qjypfifli Glad Reagan bills passed? Gov. Milliken says no state has more to gain than Michigan from President Rea gan's tax and budget cuts. Are you glad the president's economic programs were approved? How you voted NO, 58 percent. COMMENTS: "Reagan's for the rich" . . . "He's favoring the Sun belt and the West" . . . "He's creating more inflation at the cost of the poor" . . . "I definitely oppose the breaks for oil companies." YES, 42 percent. COMMENTS: "Reagan's just doing what he promised" . . . 'Forty years of the New Deal hasn't worked" . . . "When Reagan helps business, he helps everyone" . . . "Creating jobs sure beats giveaway programs." Sound off Is a non-scientific, reader opin ion feature. Today's percentages are based on approximately 900 calls. Tomorrow's question The state cannot ban construction of nuclear power plants because federal laws take precedence, according to Michigan Attorney General Frank Kelley (See Michigan Dateline, Page 8B). Would you like to see an end to construction of new nuclear power plants? To vote YES To vote NO Call 961-323 Call 961-4422 Two arrests bring new leads on suspect in slaying of girl, 8 By SANDY McCLURE Free Press Staff Writer Since two arrests earlier this week for a drug-related murder in July, Highland Park police have received additional information about Michael (Rabbit) Sims, wanted in the murder of an eight-year-old Detroit girl. Sims, who remains at large, is wanted for the first-degree mur der of Pamela Graves, who was gunned down July 29 outside a candy store at Linwood and Grand when Sims allegedly opened fire randomly in retali ation for the robbery of one of his drug pushers earlier in the day, police said. Police said more people who knew about Sims' drug operation were willing to come forward since the arrest of Marvin Lydell Wright, 22, and John Parker Jr., 21, both of Highland Park. Wright and Parker were ar raigned Thursday on charges of first-degree murder in the July 22 slaying of Melvin Cooper (Pumpkin Man) Coleman, who police snfd was also involved in Sims' drug operation. Detroit and Highland Park police, along with the FBI, had sought them, as well as Sims, in Parker Wright Charged with murder connection with a series of drug-related murders in Highland Park and on Detroit's near west side. Wright and Parker were arrested Wednesday by off-duty policeman Michael Gardenhire, 33, a six-year veteran of the Highland Park department. "I HAD a 'wanted' poster for them In my car," he said Friday. "When I saw them walking down the street (on Geneva near Woodward), I checked the poster and, sure enough, it was them." Detective Armen Hagopian of the Highland Park Police Department had distributed photocopied pictures of the pair for a homemade 'wanted' poster with a warning that they should be considered "armed and dangerous." "Gardenhire got out of his car and told them to stop," Hagopian said, "but Parker said, 'I'm not ready to come in yet.' "But Gardenhire told them, 'You're turning yourself in now,' and brought them into the station," Hagopian said. "I was most worried about Parker," Gardenhire said, "so I kept him in the front seat with my gun on him and put Wright in the back seat. "Then I drove to the station, with one hand on the wheel and the other on my gun," he said. Judge Thomas C. Bayles of 30th District Court in Highland Park accepted not guilty pleas from Wright and Parker Thursday and ordered them held without bond in the Wayne County Jail pending a pre-trial examination Aug. 18. HAGOPIAN SAID Highland Park police also want to question Sims in the murder of Mark Qulnton Harden, 24, who was shot about the same time Pamela Graves was killed. Harden, 24, identified by po- SeeUSPECT, Page 11 A tank car containing fluorosulfonic acid, manufac tured in East Chicago, Ind., by the Du Pont Co. FOURTEEN RESIDENTS were treated at area hospitals. They suffered skin and eye irritation when moisture in the air mixed with the spill to form a highly corrosive vapor cloud. Don Luebke, manager of the East,C hicago plant where the substance is manufactured, said fluoro sulfonic acid could cause injury if it came in contact with skin or eyes. Officials were preparing a clay-lined pit to contain the spilled substance. They planned to neutralize it with 75,000 pounds of limestone. Luebke said the chemical is a colorless liquid with a pungent odor and is non-flammable. It is used in making synthetic fabrics. "It will combine with water, or moisture, to produce a white fume," Luebke explained. "That vapor is corrosive. It can burn the skin severely under drastic conditions (if the vapor settles on the skin for too long without treatment). It can burn the eyes and mucous membranes." Athanas, of the Chessie System, said "an army of supervisors" was at the scene investigating the derailment. Forty of the 77 cars were empty. The 14 derailed cars were toward the end of the train, the last being about five cars from the caboose, Athanas said. Nine of the derailed cars were empty. THE TRAIN was en route to Niagara Falls, N.Y., where the See LEAK, Page 11 A getting it straight To insure accuracy, the Free Press will correct in this space any factual error which may occur in our news columns. Drafts Million Program for Economy By DAVID KUSHMA Free Prest Lansing Staff MACKINAC ISLAND Gov. Milliken and Republican legislative leaders said Friday they have outlined a $2 billion plan to stimulate Michigan's battered economy over the next three years through a series of property tax cuts and business tax breaks. Although the bulk of the tax relief for home and farm owners would be concentrated in the plan's second and third years, Milliken said the proposal also provided for a "very important and significant" property tax reduction this calendar year. The tax package was the 1 product of a conference of GOP lawmakers, top administration officials, and Milliken at the governor's state-owned summer home here. The three-day meet ing ended Friday. A story Friday should have said that federal embezzling charges leveled at three Teamsters Local 299 leaders stemmed from a 1978 challenge to Robert LIns' victory as local president, when Lins and his colleagues were charged by Peter Karago-zlan with accepting employer funds and discriminating against rival candidates who wanted to use election lists. MILLIKEN REFUSED to dis cuss details of the package, say lng they will be refined after talks with Democratic lawmak ers and representatives of busi ness and labor lobbies. "What must emerge is not Republican plan or a Democratic plan, but a Michigan plan a blueprint for obs for the '80s," Milliken said in a statement en dorsed by conference partici pants. According to the governor, the plan would offer business reforms in the state's Single Business Tax; cost cuts in Michi gan s worker s compensation and unemployment insurance systems; fewer government reg ulatlons; and a "multi-million dollar" program to promote the state s commercial advantages. The proposal also would cut local property-tax bills sched uled to be mailed in December, and would give home and farm owners a rebate on the taxes they paid last month, Milliken said. THE GOVERNOR said he hoped many of the key bills needed to enact his tax plan could be drafted by the time the Legislature returns Sept. 15. He called Michigan s economic re' covery the "primary goal" of this fall's legislative session. "I'm not saying that we'll be able to lock together a package In every last detail," Milliken said. "I know that can't be done. But we can at least try." Democratic lawmakers al ready have unveiled their proposals for a $1.2 billion, mul- tlyear property tax cut and for economic development. Republican House members earlier this year endorsed a property tax reduction of $560 million over three years. State budget director Gerald Miller reportedly told the GOP lawmakers during their private meeting that a "further massive reduction" in state spending could not be achieved this year. "The state's ability (to pro vide tax relief) increases with the passage of each year," Milliken said. "Our projections for the Michigan economy show a lot of improvement over time." .miM It? Cynthia Anderson: Last seen on Tuesday. Fears rise in missing woman case By KEITH HARRISTON Free Press Staff Writer Toledo police said Friday they were "getting a bit nervous" after finding no clues to the whereabouts of a Toledo legal secretary who has been missing since Tuesday morning. Cynthia Anderson, 20, of Bedford Township, Mich., near Toledo, was reported missing about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday by James Rabbitt, an attorney at the Toledo law offices of Neller and Rabbitt. "This (case) doesn't look too good," said Toledo police Sgt. Robert Cothern. "Two bodies were found Monday night in the trunk of a car three blocks from where she works. It makes us nervous because we've got a bru tal killer running around that neighborhood." Cothern added, however, that police had not established a ink between the double homi cide and the Anderson case. Anderson was last seen in her office about 9:45 a.m. Tuesday by a maintenance worker, police said. When Rabbitt arrived at the office at noon, he found the front door locked and the radio and air conditioner on. Anderson's car was parked in front of the office. JEFF LEMKE, a friend of An derson, said he and his friends, Pe MISSING, PageHA

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