A juvenile has been arrested after a fire occurred at the Marquette Athletic Complex in Michigan City.

On Monday, at around 10:00 a.m., a bus driver for the Michigan City Area Schools noticed smoke coming from the Marquette Athletic Complex located at 8600 Pahs Road. The observation was radioed in, and the Michigan City Fire and Police Departments quickly responded.

Upon arrival, the smoke was found to be coming from one of the dugouts that had been set on fire. A juvenile male was also observed on-scene. This person disappeared into the cornfield and woods behind the athletic complex and was not able to be located at the time.

Firefighters extinguished the dugout and determined the fire had been intentionally set. The initial investigation also determined that a concession stand had been broken into. Several items were taken from the concession stand and some of those items were flammable liquids which were ultimately used to set the dugout on fire.

As the initial investigation was concluding, the same juvenile male suspect re-emerged from his hiding place.

Police say the juvenile directed an obscene gesture toward all the first responders and then fled again. His escape was brief as he was soon taken into custody by three officers. The juvenile was found to be 14-years old. The Investigative Division was contacted and took over this case. The investigation resulted in probable cause being established to charge the 14-year-old with arson, burglary and institutional criminal mischief.

The Michigan City Police Department would ask that anyone with information about this case to please contact Det./Cpl. Galetti at (219) 874-3221 Ext. 1088 or by email at mgaletti@emichigancity.com. They would also like to remind the public that you can contact them via Facebook Messenger, through their crime tip hotline number of 219-873-1488, or you can also call the WeTip Hotline for General Crime (800) 78-CRIME and possibly receive a reward upon an arrest and conviction. All WeTip call information is sent directly to the LaPorte County Prosecutor’s Office. Police say you can always request to remain anonymous.