Funeral services for Lansing firefighter Dennis Rodeman are set for Tuesday after he died participating in an annual fundraising campaign. Authorities say Rodeman was deliberately struck by a pickup truck as he collected money for charity.
Rodeman, 35, died after a hit-and-run driver intentionally ran him over while he was collecting funds at a “fill the boot” event to raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, police said.
The Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office has filed charges against a man police apprehended after a hit-and-run incident that killed the Lansing firefighter.
22-year-old Lansing resident Grant Jacob Taylor faces charges of open murder; failing to stop at the scene of a personal injury accident causing death; and two counts of third degree fleeing and eluding. His name was released for the first time at an arraignment this afternoon.
Taylor is being held without bond in Lansing. He is scheduled for a pre-exam conference on Sept. 18 at 8:30 a.m. and a preliminary hearing Sept. 23 at 9:30 a.m.
The investigation into the firefighter hit-and-run is still ongoing.
“Although my opinion is that we have sufficient information to authorize these charges and meet the probable cause burden of the preliminary examination this matter continues under investigation,” said Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III.
Dunnings authorized the charges and the case has been assigned to Lansing Deputy Chief Assistant John Dewane.
The state Legislature recognized Dennis Rodeman during a 9/11 memorial, including a moment of silence in the Senate.
Rep. Tom Cochran, a former Lansing fire chief, hired the firefighter seven years ago.
“Dennis was such a solid person. He had a quiet way about him. He just was a hard worker, excellent paramedic firefighter, still a marine reservist. Just served his country and served his community,” Cochran said.
Lansing police Capt. Jim Kraus said there was some type of traffic altercation before the firefighter was struck by the pickup.
Kraus said the driver “was upset for whatever reason,” and that a preliminary investigation shows “he deliberately hit the firefighter who was standing in the road collecting for the charity.”
Rodeman was wearing a reflective vest and other gear and was standing in the road’s center turning lane.
He was married two months ago, and he and his wife were expecting their first child, Lansing Fire Chief Randy Talifarro said.
Rodeman was a seven-year veteran of the Lansing Fire Department. His Facebook page says he was a Marine veteran who served in Iraq, and he also studied at Western Michigan and Michigan State.
A fund has been started to benefit the Lansing firefighter family. Rodeman leaves behind a wife and the couple was expecting their first child.