Police investigate arson at Hazel Park Harness Raceway

$5,000 reward offered for tips leading to suspect’s arrest

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published July 31, 2013

HAZEL PARK — The search continues for the individual responsible for a fire that broke out at Hazel Park Harness Raceway late last month, and now the Michigan Arson Prevention Committee is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the suspect’s arrest and conviction.

The original incident occurred early in the morning June 27. A fire broke out inside a closed veterinary building on the western perimeter of the barn area on the racetrack grounds, located at 1650 E. 10 Mile.

The first responders, comprising Hazel Park police and firefighters, arrived at the scene around 5 a.m. They concluded that the possible ignition sources indicated arson.

Oakland County’s arson investigators agreed with the suspicions. In the end, the building interior sustained moderate damage, and no one was harmed.

Authorities are not releasing details as to how the fire was started. They did provide a vague description of the suspect, although they did not disclose who saw him.

Police describe the suspect as a white man in his mid-20s, small in stature, who was seen fleeing the scene on foot.

“It’s hard to say what the motive is at this point, but the investigation is ongoing,” said Hazel Park Police Lt. Brian Buchholz.

Those who know which person or people may have been involved in the crime June 27 are asked to call the Oakland County Arson Squad at (248) 858-5454, or the Hazel Park Police Department at (248) 542-6161.