A Warren city councilman accused of chasing down and handcuffing a woman who put Black Lives Matter stickers on yard signs for then-President Donald Trump has pleaded no contest to a lesser offense.
Warren City Councilman Edward Kabacinski entered the plea Monday in 38th District Court in Eastpointe, the day his case was scheduled for a jury trial.
Charges were authorized against Kabacinski, 48, in October 2020. A charge of impersonating a public officer, a one-year misdemeanor, was reduced to disturbing the peace, according to court records. A 93-day misdemeanor assault and battery charge was dismissed.
Councilman must take anger management classes
Judge Kathleen Galen sentenced Kabacinski to 12 months of probation with conditions, including anger management classes and no similar conduct or assaultive behavior, in addition to $1,055 in fines and costs.
Kabacinski’s attorney, Stephen Rabaut, said the plea was taken under a section of the Michigan criminal code that allows for a delayed sentence. If Kabacinski does what he is required to do, the charge can be dismissed. The judge said she would review the matter in six months, Rabaut said.
“Mr. Kabacinski isn’t happy about the resolution, did not want to enter a plea, but at the advice of counsel elected to enter the plea because he saw it was probably in his best interest,” Rabaut said.
Kabacinski could not be immediately reached for comment.
Rabaut said delays in the case were primarily related to COVID-19 or trial scheduling.
This is not the first time Kabacinski has had runs-in with police.
He has a motion hearing Sept. 26 on an unrelated case in 41A District Court in Shelby Township after he was arrested by Utica police on a misdemeanor ordinance violation in 2021 after he allegedly peddled political merchandise without a sales permit during a Trump rally.
In October 2021, Warren City Council members passed a resolution 5-2 to censure him for his misuse of his position as a councilman and removed him from committee assignments days after they said he was arrested for refusing to wear a mask inside the TCF Center during a Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission meeting.
Warren City Council President Pat Green told the Free Press on Monday: “I’m glad the courts have resolved this, and I hope that the victims of his crime are satisfied with the court’s rule.”
Silly String versus handcuffs
In October 2020, Kabacinski was investigated for his actions while attending a Trump rally in Eastpointe. St. Clair Shores police said when they arrived at Stephens and Kelly they found a Trump rally attendee had handcuffed a woman. An officer immediately took the woman out of the handcuffs, according to a police report.
Police said the then-24-year-old Eastpointe woman was chased down and handcuffed by Kabacinski after she stuck three Black Lives Matter stickers on the Trump signs that were placed along the boulevard. When Kabacinski grabbed the woman, she sprayed him with Silly String, according to the report.
It stated Kabacinski handcuffed her with her hands to the rear and sat her next to him until police arrived.
Kabacinski told C&> Newspapers he detained the woman because she acted to “breach the peace” by putting a 5-by-8-inch Black Lives Matter sticker on a Trump-Pence sign. He claimed he is a former military police officer and federal law allows him to detain those who breach the peace or break the law.
The woman was not facing criminal charges.
Kabacinski, a first-term member of the nonpartisan Warren City Council, is a Trump supporter who donned a military gas mask during an April 2020 City Council meeting and complained about a loss of freedom because of actions Gov. Gretchen Whitmer took to control the spread of the coronavirus in the pandemic’s early days.
In September 2020, he took heat after he stood with counterprotesters at a march to support a Black family who lived in his council district and was thrice the victim of attacks because they had a Black Lives Matter sign in their front window.
Disqualified from seeking state office
Kabacinski showed up at the march in military attire with a gun on his hip and carrying a large Trump flag. He stood with counterprotesters who he said were there to show support for law enforcement.
In May of this year, Kabacinski was disqualified from running for state office by the Michigan Department of State because he did not pay outstanding fines or filed missing campaign finance reports at the time he filed an affidavit to run for office, violating state campaign finance law.
Last month, Kabacinski was in an accident on I-696 that he said he and his campaign manager concluded was a targeted attack by those associated with the Democratic Party because of his political views. Michigan State Police told the Macomb Daily there was no indication the accident was intentional. The other driver was speeding.
Kabacinski was wearing a neck brace and using a walker at the most recent City Council meeting Sept. 13, according to video of the meeting.
Contact Christina Hall: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter: @challreporter.
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