Man arrested for setting fires and ramming fire truck

Posted at 8:36 AM, Jan 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-25 08:36:47-05

EMMETT TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A Grand Rapids man faces charges that he set fire to a car, set a fire inside a restroom, tried to shoplift, tried to set another fire, and rammed an Emmett Township fire unit, said Emmett Township Public Safety.

Emmett Township Public Safety officers responded to a report that a man started a car fire in the parking lot of the Meijer store on B Drive North near M-66. Witnesses said the man stuck a cloth into the gas tank and lit it.

Fire crews had just put out the fire when they were told of a fire in a restroom in the Meijer gas station. While responding to that report, they learned the fire was set by a man matching the description of the man who set the car fire.

After ETPS officers found and approached a man who matched the description in the lot at the nearby Walmart, the suspect rammed head-on an ETPS fire truck that had moved to the lot in case another fire should be set at the Walmart. After the suspect hit the fire engine a second time, he took off.

Police and Michigan State Police followed the suspect, who was driving under 40 miles per hour due to the damage to his vehicle. He finally went into a ditch on B Drive North west of Silver Springs Lane, where he was arrested.

Damage to the fire unit was said to be significant.

The investigation continues.