GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The man accused of opening fire Tuesday outside a Muskegon Heights basketball game has been in and out of trouble since he was a teen, starting with an arrest for firing a shotgun at a carload of people.
No one was injured in the February 2010 shooting on Grand Rapids’ Southeast Side, but Clarence Jamichael McCaleb Sr. was made a ward of the court and ordered to stay away from gang members, according to juvenile court records.
On Wednesday, he was wheeled into a Muskegon County courtroom to face charges that could put him in prison for decades.
McCaleb, shot twice by a Muskegon County sheriff’s deputy Tuesday night, has been charged nine different times in Grand Rapids District Court over the past three years. Offenses include possession of cocaine, carrying a loaded handgun and twice refusing to obey an order from police.
And he didn’t heed an August 2011 order from a juvenile court judge that McCaleb have no contact with gang members, according to Grand Rapids police.
That came out in July 2014 when McCaleb was arrested with a loaded handgun at Joe Taylor Park. The 2.2 acre park on Baxter Street SE is named after Joseph Floyd Taylor, a Grand Rapids police officer gunned down in the line of duty in November 1986.
“He is a known ‘Bemis Boy’ gang member,’’ Grand Rapids police officer James Jorgensen wrote in asking for a high bond. “McCaleb has been identified at the scene of numerous shootings and homicides over the last several years.’’
McCaleb grew up in Grand Rapids, spending time with his grandmother and mother. His most recent address is on Lynch Street east of Clyde Park Avenue SW.
He was living on Newcastle Drive SE when, at the age of 15, McCaleb fired a shotgun at several occupants of a vehicle on Burton Street near Ottawa Hills High School. McCaleb was charged with felonious assault and discharge of a firearm without malice.
At the age of 20, he was at Joe Taylor Park with a loaded handgun concealed in his waistband under his jacket when police confronted him, court records show.
He ran from police, failing to “obey a lawful order to drop the gun and to stop,’’ according to a probable cause affidavit sworn out in July 2014.
McCaleb pleaded guilty 3½ months later to carrying a concealed weapon, a five-year felony. A Kent County Circuit Court judge in January 2015 placed him on probation for two years and ordered him to pay nearly $1,200 in fines and costs. That tab still hasn't been paid.
Eight months later, vice officers arrested McCaleb at Bates Street and Union Avenue SE for possession of marijuana and cocaine. The Aug. 9, 2015, arrest prompted Kent County Circuit Court Judge Donald A. Johnston to revoke his probation; he was sentenced to 165 days in jail.
McCaleb violated terms of his probation on several counts; transgressions include failing to obey a police officer and driving on a suspended license. He also missed appointments with his probation officer and failed to follow through on 80 hours of community service ordered by the court.
McCaleb said he has a “medical condition’’ that would prohibit him from completing those hours, but offered no supporting documentation, Kent County Probation Officer Derek E. Bradford wrote in recommending McCaleb’s probation be terminated.
“Placing the defendant on probation meant that the court believed he would be a law-abiding citizen in our community,’’ Bradford wrote.
McCaleb in September pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine, a four-year felony. He was sentenced in early November to four months in jail with credit for 87 days served. The sentence ran concurrent with the time imposed for violating probation.
In a hand-written letter to the court, Tyauanna Tracy Marshall, who identifies herself as McCaleb’s girlfriend and the mother of his four-year-old son – Clarence Jr., - said she would love to have him home for Christmas.
“He helps out a lot with our son and also our home,’’ Marshall wrote in late October. “I believe he learned his lesson and will not get into any more trouble.’’