A “hair designer” in Kalamazoo, Michigan was arrested after police identified him as the ax-wielding man witnesses saw fleeing from an adult store that had been set on fire, WOOD’s Ken Kolker reports.
According to police, late Wednesday afternoon Mitchell Hapner set fire to the Hollywood Nights shop. Witnesses told police that they had seen a man leaving the scene carrying an ax, and authorities quickly determined that the suspect was Hapner.
When they attempted to question him, Hapner led police on a brief car chase before crashing his vehicle.
The owners of Hollywood Nights set up GoFundMe page to help recoup their losses, which were apparently total.
“Hollywood Nights was maliciously targeted and unfortunately burnt to the ground by a confused individual who thought he was doing god’s work,” the statement on the GoFundMe page reads.
“Clearly this was not god’s work, this was the heinous actions of a very disturbed person who had nothing but destruction on their mind. This confused person never knew our family and we never knew him. He believed he was serving as god on a mission to not only destroy the business but to harm any employees and customers in the building.”
The owners claim that the only reason no one was injured in the fire was that the store was closed “for weather related reasons.”
Their losses were not only monetary, however. “We lost irreplaceable things,” the owners wrote.
“This is only some of it but to list a few items my family will never cherish again includes; our children’s precious art work/drawings/school pictures that decorated our private office to remind us why we work so hard, sentimental gifts, countless pictures and family home videos stored in filing cabinets and computers.”
Hapner is due back in court today to be formally charged.
Watch a report on the fire via WOOD below.