News Release

Flee and Elude, Resisting and Obstructing 483-18

Justin Michael Ernst

Justin Michael Ernst


Incident #:   483-18

Date & Time:    Tuesday, January 24, 2018 @ 2030 hours

Location:     60000 Block of County Road 665, Paw Paw Township


Sheriff Daniel E Abbott reports that on Tuesday, January, 23rd, 2018 deputies were sent to the area of 60th Ave and County Road 665 in Paw Paw Township for a possible intoxicated driver. After finding a car that matched the description deputies attempted to pull the vehicle over. The suspect driver fled in the vehicle after deputies attempted to make a traffic stop. A short chase ensued through a neighborhood behind Tractor Supply where the vehicle stopped at a dead end. The driver got out and ran on foot but he was able to get away from the deputy. A Michigan State Police K9 was called to the scene but was unsuccessful in finding the suspect.

Deputies went back to the vehicle and found a loaded hunting rifle and other information identifying the driver as a Justin Ernst. After checking several locations Deputies were able to locate Ernst hiding in a garage in the 37000 block of Red Arrow Highway. Ernst was taken into custody on Fleeing and Eluding and Resisting and Obstructing along with several other felony warrants for his arrest.

If the public has any information that can assist the Sheriff’s Office in this case they are encouraged to call the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office, Crime Stoppers, or Silent Observer.

Investigating Deputy:  Sgt Casey Davis 

Assisting Deputies:  Deputy Galer, Deputy Erickson, Deputy Rowse

Assisting Agencies:  Michigan State Police, Paw Paw Police Department

Suspect:           Justin Michael Ernst DOB 06/29/1988

Charges:   Fleeing and Eluding, Resisting and Obstructing,  

Supervisor Contact:  Lieutenant Jim Charon at 269-657-2006 or the on-duty Road Patrol Sergeant at 269-657-3101. 

Anyone with information can contact the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office at (269) 657-3101, Crime Stoppers 1-800-342-7867, Silent Observer (269) 343-2100 or your local Police Department.

Mobile phone users and online users can provide anonymous crime tips to the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office by sending a text Tip Soft message by sending a text message to “CRIMES” (274637) with the keyword VBCTIP from a mobile phone.  To submit an online tip, go to and at the top of the homepage follow the directions to submit a tip.

Jim Charon