By Judy Reed
Last week’s story about Sand Lake Police arresting an alleged arsonist as he ran from a vacant building has some people speculating whether the incident really happened or whether it was staged to show the need for the police department.
If the village were disincorporated, the police department would cease to exist.
According to Sand Police Chief Ken Williams, there is nothing to the claim made by at least one person on our website, and others in the area.
According to Chief Williams, the man sat in the bar about 12 hours the day of the fire, but doesn’t seem to be connected to anyone in town.
Sand Lake Police Officer Steve Brandow and Sand Lake Police Intern Zac Gregory were on foot patrol at approximately 3:00 a.m. Sunday, March 14, when they noticed a fire in the back window of a vacant building at 20 W. Lake Street. They observed a man leaving the scene, and Officer Brandow apprehended the suspect while Intern Gregory successfully extinguished the fire.
They arrested Gerald Lee Krug, 48, of Grand Rapids, on a charge of Arson–Preparation to Burn Property over $20,000.
Some have asked whether the police really do foot patrols. Williams said that they do. “We do foot patrols at random. We try to get out of the car at least once a night and more during the summer,” he said.
Krug waived his right to a preliminary hearing that was scheduled for Wednesday, March 24, and was bound over to Circuit Court on the arson charge.