WHITE CLOUD, Mich. (WOOD) — The co-owners of a White Cloud restaurant that burned earlier this year have been formally charged with arson.
Ryan Robinson was arraigned Thursday on a count of arson of an insured real property and two counts of false pretenses of between $50,000 and $100,000. David Robinson was arraigned on a count of arson of an insured property.
A release from the Newaygo County Prosecutor’s Office said the charges stem from the March fire at Charlie’s Family Grill and insurance claims made this and last year.
In a memo posted to the White Cloud Police Department’s Facebook page last week, before the charges were announced, City Manager April Storms acknowledged neighbors’ frustration that the restaurant site had not been cleaned up. She wrote that the insurance company put up a fence around the site in March as the fire was investigated. In April, the owners got word that the site was released for cleanup.
Recently, the insurance company said it planned to remove the fence this week. Storms said the city has called on the owners of the restaurant to “bring the site into compliance with local ordinances” but hadn’t heard back.
“The City of White Cloud will take compliance action immediately upon the removal of the fence to protect the public and to have the site cleaned up,” Storms wrote.
Ryan and David Robinson are expected back in court Oct. 19 and Oct. 26 for their next hearings. The arson charge is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and the false pretenses charge by up to 15 years.