Police: Man who killed firefighter mad over traffic delay

AP News
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Posted: Sep 14, 2015 5:56 PM
Police: Man who killed firefighter mad over traffic delay

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A motorist accused of deliberately and fatally hitting a firefighter with his car told police he was angry with the firefighters collecting money for charity and slowing traffic, court records show.

Grant Taylor told officers during an interview that he expressed his anger with firefighters Wednesday on a Lansing street and that their response to his frustrations did not satisfy him. He said he drove away, then turned around and hit Dennis Rodeman — a firefighter involved in the conversation, the Lansing State Journal reported (http://on.lsj.com/1Mn8go3 ) Monday.

The 35-year-old firefighter was participating in Fill the Boot, an annual fundraising campaign for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and International Association of Firefighters. Rodeman, whose wife was pregnant with their first child, later died at a hospital.

Taylor, 22, was charged Thursday with murder, failing to stop at the scene of an accident causing death and fleeing police. The Associated Press left a message for defense attorney Stacia Buchanan seeking comment about the allegations.

During testimony that led to charges against Taylor, Lansing Detective Lee McCallister said firefighters told Taylor what they were doing and said they would appreciate any donations. Taylor told McCallister he became angrier when firefighters mocked him, according to the testimony.

"At no time during his conversation did (Taylor) express any remorse," McCallister said. "Nor did he ask the condition of the victim."

Taylor's mother, Karen Taylor, petitioned Ingham County Probate Court twice in the past two years to involuntarily hospitalize him for mental health reasons, the newspaper reported, citing court records. Psychiatrists who evaluated Taylor diagnosed him with psychosis and bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses.

Visitation for Rodeman is Tuesday at a Lansing funeral home, and his funeral is Wednesday at Michigan State University's Breslin Center in East Lansing.

Gov. Rick Snyder also ordered U.S. and Michigan flags to be lowered to half-staff on Wednesday at the Capitol and all state buildings in Rodeman's honor.