Man in standoff faces psychiatric exam — (The Times Herald)

Original article no longer exists

The Times Herald

By ANGELA MULLINS, Times Herald

Originally published Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Testing to determine competency, whether Kimball man responsible
Arvin Michalopoulos

A Kimball Township man involved in a standoff with police Sept. 1 will undergo psychiatric testing before his next court date. The decision was made Tuesday when Arvin Michalopoulos, 41, 407 Henry St., Apt. C, appeared before St. Clair County District Judge Cynthia Platzer for a preliminary examination.

Michalopoulos is charged with four felonies in the incident: discharging a firearm in a building, malicious destruction of property between $1,000 and $20,000, arson and felony in possession of firearms and for being a second-time habitual offender because of a 1994 criminal conviction in Macomb County.

He is accused of setting his car on fire and sending it careening into the township fire station on Henry Street.

Police said the suspect then went to his apartment across the street, fired several gunshots and kept police at bay for nearly six hours.

Michalopoulos faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted. He is free on a $20,000 bond, which includes conditions he have no contact with fire department property or personnel and that he possess no weapons.

Friends and family rallied behind Michalopoulos during Tuesday’s court hearing. Amy Bergman, a close friend and neighbor, said the incident happened because Michalopoulos’ doctor had cut his anti-depression medication. “He had no intention of hurting anyone,” she said. Senior Assistant Prosecutor Michael Wendling said he will be sent to the Center for Forensic Psychiatry in either Ann Arbor or Ypsilanti for testing. Once the testing is complete, a district court hearing will be scheduled to review the center’s report and to determine if Michalopoulos is competent to stand trial and whether he should be held criminally responsible for his actions. The hearing is expected within 60 days, Wendling said.