UPDATE: Suspicious fire and Grand Haven Coast Guard station attack linked

February 8, 2015
Photo courtesy of Mary Bunt of Mears.

The last known occupant of this building that was destroyed in a suspicious fire near Mears early Sunday morning, Feb. 8, is the same suspect currently in police custody after attacking the Grand Haven Coast Guard Station.
Photo courtesy of Mary Bunt of Mears.

By Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.

GOLDEN TWP. — The last known occupant of a garage destroyed in a suspicious fire at the end of Deer Road early Sunday morning, Feb. 8, is the same suspect currently in police custody after attacking the Grand Haven Coast Guard Station, according to the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office.

The quaint building reminiscent of Mayberry before today's fire.

The quaint building before today’s fire.

The fire occurred at 4:06 a.m., and the Coast Guard station attack occurred at 6:07 a.m.

The Grand Haven incident was initially investigated as a potential act of domestic terrorism, but officials are now stating that the investigation has not revealed any link to terrorism or a terrorist group.

The suspect is a 34-year-old Michigan man. “His motives and intent are unclear, and the investigation continues,” according to a press release issued this afternoon by Grand Haven Department of Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke.

Neighbors said ownership of the now-destroyed building changed hands approximately one year ago, and the new owner was from out-of-state.

“The suspect’s truck and Coast Guard Station Grand Haven have been checked by the Michigan State Police Bomb Squad technicians,” according to Hawke. “No explosive device was located and the Coast Guard station building has been deemed safe.”

“The Oceana County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to investigate a suspicious fire at 2813 N. 34th Ave. at 4:06 a.m.,” according to an OCSO press release issued Sunday afternoon. “The scene was found to be damaged very badly and is considered a total loss. Through investigation, the sheriff’s office has learned that the last known occupant of the fire scene is the same suspect that is currently being held in custody in Grand Haven after attacking the Grand Haven Coast Guard Station this morning.

“The investigation continues and is being assisted by the FBI and the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety,” the OCSO press release states.

The that was building decorated as an old-fashioned gas station near Mears that was burned early this morning.

The building that was decorated as an old-fashioned gas station near Mears that was burned early this morning.

“The investigation revealed that a male suspect crashed his truck through the Coast Guard Station Gate,” according to the Grand Haven DPS press release. “The suspect then broke into the station and assaulted Coast Guard personnel. He was subdued by Coast Guard personnel and arrested by Grand Haven Public Safety officers.

 “The suspect made the threat of an explosive device in the truck,” the press release continues. “All Coast Guard personnel are safe.” Harbor Drive and the boardwalk were closed, and residents of Sand Piper Condos were advised to shelter in place for several hours until an ‘all clear’ was given Sunday afternoon.

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