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MSP Trooper Testifies in Antrim County Assault Case Against Elmira Bar Owner

It was a packed courtroom Wednesday as a Michigan State Police trooper described the night he was approached by an 83-year-old man that he says was aggressive.

State troopers pulled Larry Sevenski over along US 131 in Elmira on the evening of St. Patrick’s Day.

Police say Sevenski got out of his car and started coming towards a trooper.

That trooper took down Sevenski, hurting him in the process.

Last month, Sevenski was charged with assaulting a police officer.

Michigan State Police also announced there was an error with their dash cam and no footage from the encounter is available.

9&10’s Caroline Powers and photojournalist Jeremy Erickson were back in the courtroom Wednesday for Sevenski’s preliminary hearing.

They have continuing coverage.

Michigan State Police Trooper Brock Artfitch detailed his encounter with 83-year-old Larry Sevenski, where he said he was concerned for his safety.

“At that point I was still giving the driver loud verbal commands to stop and return to his vehicle,” Trooper Artfitch says. “I extended my hand forward, one of them, and I had to physically keep him from continuing to advance toward me at that time.”

Trooper Artfitch says the night he and his partner pulled over Larry Sevenski they didn’t even have time to put their patrol car in park before the 83-year-old came toward them.

“He said and gestured I have a bone to pick with you in a loud voice, pointing his finger,” says Trooper Artfitch. “To me that demonstrates that he’s upset with us.”

Trooper Artfitch told the prosecution that Sevenski mentioned he wished he had a weapon, and came at him in an aggressive manner.

“At the exact same time that he tensed up and squeezed my hand very tightly he then took his right arm and cocked it back into a punching position, formed his right hand into a tight fist and lined up with me,” says Trooper Artfitch.

But the defense questions the trooper’s actions, saying he used excessive force.

“The trooper did testify he knew Mr. Sevenski,” says Richard Steiger, defense attorney. “He’s an 83-year-old man, he’s a frail gentleman, and the fact that there was a matter that could have been easily discussed with him and resolved ended up in him breaking his arm and breaking his nose.”

Judge Phillips decided to bind the case to circuit court for trial.

Sevenski entered a not guilty plea.

Nothing was mentioned in court about the dash cam video malfunction.