Citizen who tried pulling over cop charged for reckless driving

Man claims he is often on seat belt patrol and puts the videos on YouTube


Ron Savage
FOX - 2 WJBK

SOUTHGATE, Mich. — He rolled up alongside a Detroit police officer and shouted, "Where's your damn seatbelt?" while his home video camera was rolling. Now, Steve McClain of Southgate says he's in trouble with the law for reckless driving.

Click on the video player to watch his "citizens arrest" and Ron Savage's report.

McClain's video shows the officer peering out the window of his patrol car as the man behind the camera shouts, "You are required by law to wear your seatbelt. Put your damn seatbelt on!" He also repeatedly orders the officer to pull over shouting, "Who the hell do you think you are?" The officer never stops.

We talked to McClain about the incident and his elaborate set up. His van has three mounted high definition cameras. The home improvement small businessman says he patrols for seatbelt compliance in his spare time and posts the videos on YouTube.

"If you don't have your seatbelt on you will get a ticket," McClain told Fox 2. "Every time I see police or a city employee of any type they never wear their seatbelt."

McClain got a court summons in the mail ordering him to appear Tues., Dec. 4 for an arraignment on a charge of reckless driving. Southgate and Detroit police refused to comment.

Police sources tell Fox 2 there are seatbelt exemptions for on duty officers who may be doing surveillance or checking out an armed robbery or a suspected person with a gun, a situation that may require the officer to quickly exit the patrol car. But they advise, if you believe an officer is breaking the law, report the patrol car number, time and location and call the department to file a citizen complaint.

Copyright 2012 WJBK Fox 2 

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