Arson case at local fraternity house yields suspect

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                                                                 By Kayla Robinson

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Political science sophomore Francesca Caal Skonos says arsons around East Lansing have gotten out of hand.

Entirely East Lansing

EAST LANSING, – A bench at the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house was set on fire back in January during the middle of the night, and the East Lansing Police Department have identified a possible suspect in the arson case.

“Whoever’s fingerprints were found on the lighter fluid bottle that was used in the fire, we talked to him,” said Detective Lieutenant Scott Wriggelsworth. “Based on those clues, we think we may have enough information.”

Wriggelsworth also said the process of getting all the evidence needed took a good period of time.

“It just took awhile for the lab to get to the fingerprint analysis that was on the bottle,” Wriggelsworth said. “The suspect was already in the system, but there had been many questions regarding it anyways.”

Wriggelsworth did not identify the suspect.

An executive board member and fraternity brother of Phi Gamma Delta, Jack Tolbert, said he and all the other brothers felt a variety of emotions when this incident took place.

“At first, we were all angry that our furniture had been destroyed and someone had done something like this to us,” Tolbert said. “After this initial reaction, people were more concerned than anything because usually, the house is pretty quiet at 3:30 a.m.; so if this event happened on a usual night, the results could have been much worse.”

Tolbert also said he and the rest of the brothers will try to prevent something like this from happening in the future.

“I don’t think we’ll necessarily watch the surroundings of our house any closer because this was clearly a reactionary event,” Tolbert said. “We will just try to avoid any negative interactions that would lead people to take actions like these against us.”

Political science sophomore Francesca Caal Skonos said she has heard of way too many arson cases around East Lansing and thinks it needs to be handled better in some way.

“Of course there has been multiple situations with couches being burned on football game days, but something like a bench at a fraternity house is crazy,” Caal Skonos said. “I just don’t understand what gives people the incentive to go and burn something when they could be doing something more productive with their time.”

Wriggelsworth said charges were still being considered.

“For this specific case, we’ll be going through the city attorney for specific fire code violations,” Wriggelsworth said.

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