Thursday, August 4, 2022

3 men charged with arson at former hospital site

Three suspects have been arrested and are facing criminal charges in May 11 fires at the former state psychiatric hospital site in Northville Township. 

Roland Green, 20, of Riley, was charged with two counts of arson in the third-degree and two counts of preparation to burn real property while Cameron Purcell, 19, from Marine City, and Jakob Aquilina, 20, from Saginaw were each charged with two counts of third-degree arson, according to reports from the Northville Township police.

Each charge carries a maximum 10-year prison term or a fine of up $20,000 according to the Wayne County prosecutor's office.

Police were called to the Seven Mile Road near Haggerty site, by a report of black smoke in the air. When police and firefighters arrived, they discovered two vacant building fully engulfed in flames, according to official reports. Officers observed five individuals attempting to flee the scene, but all were taken into custody for questioning in the incident, according to police reports.

Following an investigation, detectives determined that the fires had been deliberately ignited by the three suspects. The findings were referred to the office of the Wayne County prosecutor who filed criminal charges in the incident.

Following closure of the hospital in 2003, it became an "attractive nuisance" and a destination for trespassers, often warned off or arrested for trespassing at the site. While the main hospital building was demolished in 2018, it was a Halloween attraction for more than 15 years.

Currently, specialized security cameras and other surveillance equipment has been installed at the site of the Northville Legacy Park site to control trespassing and vandalism, police said.