RELEASED BY SUMMIT COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE --8/11/2016
Five Arrests Made in Historic Schoolhouse Arson
GREEN, OH -- On August 9, 2016, at approximately 5:00 a.m., a citizen made a 911 call in regards to a fire at Boettler Park, 5300 Massillon Road, in the City of Green. The citizen observed the historic schoolhouse fully engulfed in flames. The Green Fire Division and the Summit County Sheriff’s Office responded to the park. The Green Fire Division extinguished the fire with mutual aid from Jackson Township and Greentown Fire Departments and notified the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s Office. The fire was ruled an arson by the investigators. A joint investigation was initiated by the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, Green Fire Division, and the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s Office.
In addition to the arson, trash cans were thrown onto rooftops and a forced entry was made into one of the restrooms. The suspects caused significant damage to the interior of the restroom.
Later that morning, the Sheriff’s Office responded to Ariss Park, located at 2520 Wise Road, in the City of Green. It was determined that the Green Youth Football concession stand had been broken into by unknown persons. The suspects stole several items from the concession stand and caused damage to the property.
On August 10, Sheriff’s detectives conducted a search at a residence located on Mayfair Circle in Springfield Township. Investigators recovered several of the items that were stolen from the concession stand at Ariss Park. Through the course investigation, detectives were able to identify the suspects responsible for the crimes at both locations.
The suspects were identified as a 16-year-old male from Springfield Township, a 16-year-old female from Springfield Township, a 16-year-old male from Akron, Brandyn McCroskey, age 18 of Springfield Township, and Matthew R. Swan, age 19 of Springfield Township. Each suspect was arrested and charged with Breaking & Entering (F-5), Vandalism (F-5), and Arson (F-4). The adults were booked into the Summit County Jail and the juvenile suspects were transported to the Summit County Juvenile Detention Center.
Sheriff Steve Barry was pleased with the expedient and thorough investigation, which led to the identification and arrest of the suspects responsible for the damage caused at the parks and the destruction of the historic schoolhouse.
“Thank you to the Summit County Sheriff, Green’s Fire Division and the Ohio State Fire Marshal for their quick work in finding the individuals who caused this irreparable damage to our beloved historical schoolhouse,” said Gerard Neugebauer, mayor of Green.
The 1885 Lichtenwalter Schoolhouse was restored by the City of Green along with volunteers and not-for-profits completed in 2002. Since then, the schoolhouse was used by Green Parks and Recreation Division, the Green Historical Society, and Green Local Schools and other area school districts for various history programs.
Follow up questions should be directed to Summit County Sheriff’s Inspector William Holland at 330-620-9738.
For comments and questions regarding the City of Green or the schoolhouse, contact Valerie Wolford, communications coordinator for the City of Green, at 330-806-0311.