Women, children escape alleged imprisonment in Niles home

Published 11:01 am Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Two women and five young children were able to escape a Niles home after a man allegedly threatened them with a knife and attempted to set parts of the house on fire late Monday night.

The Cass County Sheriff’s Department is reporting that a 39-year-old man is in custody. His name is being withheld until he is arraigned in Cass County Court, possibly Wednesday afternoon.

The incident occurred at a residence on Huntly Road in Howard Township at approximately 11:32 p.m.

A citizen driving by reported there was a fire burning on the porch of the home. When the Howard Township Fire Department arrived, firefighters were confronted by the 39-year-old male suspect who told them to leave.

This confrontation allowed the suspect’s girlfriend and a second woman a chance to escape from the house with five young children, according to police.

Cass County Sheriff’s Department deputies arrived to discover evidence that the suspect had attempted to set parts of the house on fire.

Witnesses present at the scene told deputies that the suspect attempted to imprison the two women in a bedroom by nailing the door shut.

The witnesses also allege that the suspect had threatened them with a knife.

Deputies along with officers from the Pokagon Tribal Police and Michigan State Police were able to locate the suspect on a nearby road and take him into custody. He was lodged at the Cass County Jail on multiple felony charges.

The Howard Township Fire Department, SMCAS, Michigan State Police and Pokagon Tribal Police assisted the sheriff’s department with this incident.

This matter remains under investigation.