Police and Fire Reports
By Annette Christie
Police continue investigation into arson
Local authorities continue to investigate an arson that occurred on May 4, 2018 at approximately 10:00 p.m., at the restroom building at the Flowing Wells Roadside Park on M-140 in Bainbridge Township.
Emergency services were contacted by a passerby that noticed the building fully engulfed in flames.
The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police Fire Marshall’s Division, and the fire departments of Watervliet, Sister Lakes, and Benton Township responded to the scene.
The Roadside Park and structures are owned by the Michigan Department of Transportation.
An investigation by the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office and the Michigan State Police Fire Marshall’s Division determined that the fire was intentionally set, and thus it is considered arson.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau at (269) 983-7141, ext. 7224, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-342-7867, or the Michigan State Police Arson Tip Line at 1-800-442-7766.
Investigation closed on single car accident that claimed Hartford man
The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office has completed an investigation into a one-car rollover accident that claimed the life of a Hartford man.
At approximately 7:00 p.m. on May 2, 2018, multiple emergency service agencies responded to CR-362 east of 70th Street in Keeler Township.
Through witness interviews and initial investigations of the scene, it appears that the vehicle was traveling eastbound on CR-362. The vehicle lost control and ran off the south side of the road, overturning several times. The driver was ejected and sustained multiple severe injuries.
Despite the life-saving efforts of numerous fire and medical first responders on scene, the driver, 23-year-old Adam Lee Hess, succumbed to his injuries after being transported to Lakeland Hospital, Watervliet.
Authorities did say that it appeared as though speed may have been a factor. It does not appear that the driver was wearing his safety belt.
Investigating deputies include Deputy Ray Hochsprung, Keeler Township Contract Deputy; Deputy Phil Scuiletti, Hartford Township Contract Deputy; and Sergeant Greg Pentland, Uniform Response Division.
Assisting agencies included Pokagon Tribal Police, Hartford Police Department, Pride Care EMS, Hartford Township Fire Department and Quick Response, and the Van Buren County Road Commission.
The investigation has shown that the driver’s blood was tested and was found to be positive for marijuana. The blood alcohol content was found to be .02, well below the legal limit of .08. It does appear that the driver was not wearing his safety belt and that speed may have been a contributing factor.
Suspect arrested for possession of child sexually abusive material
Following the arrest of another individual for possession of child sexually abusive material, the Michigan State Police is reminding parents to talk to their children about safety on the internet.
Darryl Crapo, 49 of Mattawan, was arraigned Thursday, May 10, on charges of child sexually abusive activity, possession of child sexually abusive material and use of a computer to commit a crime. Crapo was arrested following an investigation into large amounts of child sexually abusive material being downloaded.
A search of a residence, interview and examination of electronic devices yielded evidence that Crapo was possessing and distributing images of child sexually abusive material. Members of the Michigan State Police (MSP) Fifth District Computer Crimes Unit (CCU) and MSP Paw Paw Post were assisted by the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department and Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department.
The MSP CCU encourages parents to speak to their children about the safe use of the internet. There are many resources available to parents to assist in keeping children safe online. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children provides a comprehensive list of resources on their website at http://www.missingkids.org.
Further, if anyone has information regarding possible child sexual exploitation, report it to the: http://www.missingkids.org/cybertipline.