UPDATE: Sault Police to vigorously enforce curfew after officer is severely injured

UPDATE — Friday, 10:55 a.m.

The Sault Ste. Marie Police Department has released additional information about injuries that two officers suffered early Thursday morning while pursuing what they say were teenagers loitering.

They say Officer Chris Stempky was patrolling the area of Park and James Streets at 3:45 a.m. when he saw two teenagers, a male and a female, loitering. The young people fled on foot to the east toward Ashmun Street through a heavily wooded area once they saw Officer Stempky. He notified other officers and followed the teens.

When he left the wooded area, police say Officer Stempky slid down an embankment covered with brush. He fell forward, hitting a boulder with the right side of his head. Officer Stempky called for an ambulance and other officers also helped him. He was taken to War Memorial Hospital with severe skull fractures above, below and to the side of his right eye. Officer Stempky is now in stable condition at Marquette General and will eventually have surgery.

Officer Nate Kaczmarek was also pursuing the male teenager at one point. Police say that during the pursuit, he cleared what looked like a small ledge but what was actually a seven-foot drop. Officer Kaczmarek suffered minor injuries to his right foot and did not need medical attention.

Sault Ste. Marie Police say they will be vigorously enforcing the city’s curfew ordinance going forward due to an increase in damaged vehicles and larcenies in the area.

The announcement comes on the heels of an incident that took place earlier this morning in a neighborhood near Ashmun. Police say it happened around 3:45 a.m. when two subjects saw a patrol car and began to run. Two officers initiated a foot pursuit down Park Street, but both were injured in the process. Police have not said exactly how or where they were injured, but it was serious enough to send one officer to Marquette General Hospital via air transport. He is now reportedly in stable condition.

Reports indicate most of the recent complaints involve suspects that appear to be in their mid to late teens. Given their age, police officials are now going to be enforcing the city’s curfew ordinance more than ever before.

Sec. 15-1 of the Sault Ste. Marie city ordinance for curfew reads:

(a) No person under the age of sixteen (16) years shall loiter, wander, stroll or play in or upon any public street, highway, road, alley, park, public building, place of amusement or entertainment, vacant lot or other unsupervised place after the hour of 10:00 p.m. or before the hour of 6:00 a.m. unless such minor is accompanied by a parent, guardian or other responsible adult person, having the care and custody of such minor or unless the minor is upon an emergency errand or legitimate business directed by a parent, guardian or other responsible adult person, having the care and custody of the minor, or unless such a minor has been in attendance at a function sponsored by a church, school, civic or fraternal organization and is returning home from such a function at an hour not later than 12:30 a.m.

(b) Any person of the age of sixteen (16) years or over, including but not limited to parents and guardians, assisting, aiding, abetting, allowing, permitting or encouraging any minor under the age of sixteen (16) years to violate the provisions of section 15-1(a) shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.