Suspected arsonist beaten unconscious near Heidelberg Project in Detroit

File photo by Steve Neaving
File photo by Steve Neaving

A man suspected of setting a house on fire near the Heidelberg Project on Detroit’s east side Saturday night was beaten unconscious by neighbors and held until authorities arrived about a half hour later.

Neighbors told firefighters that the suspect had set the fire at 3639 Preston before a group of nearby residents tracked him down at Mt. Elliot near Mack and pummeled him shortly after 10 p.m.

The suspect was treated by EMS before police arrived.

Police are investigating to determine whether neighbors acted appropriately. One of the attackers was the brother of suspected arsonist.

The fire gutted the house in an area already decimated by arsons, abandonment and neglect. Intentionally set fires destroyed six Heidelberg Project houses in five months.

In May, a Detroiter held an arsonist at gunpoint until police arrived.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

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