PETOSKEY MI Dec 15 2016 — An Emmet County man has been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon amid allegations that he sprayed a fire extinguisher at a security guard who was trying to evacuate people when a fire broke out at the Boyne Highlands Resort's Main Lodge early Sunday.
David Gerald Soltysiak, 31, of Petoskey was arrested on the charge, a felony with a maximum penalty of up to four years in prison, around 3:15 p.m. Monday. He was arraigned on the charge in Emmet County's 90th District Court today, Wednesday and remains lodged at the jail in lieu of bond which was set at $50,000 case or surety.
According to an Emmet County Sheriff's Office affidavit filed in the case, Darrell St. Clair, a security guard at Boyne Highlands was working to evacuate guests from the burning building when he allegedly encountered Soltysiak in one of the hallways with a fire extinguisher in his hand.
"But instead of helping people or trying to put out the fire he was simply walking away," the affidavit reads.
According to the affidavit, St. Clair told Soltysiak to put down the fire extinguisher, but instead, Soltysiak allegedly turned around and pointed the extinguisher at St. Clair and discharged the contents of the extinguisher at him, bringing St. Clair to his knees and temporarily incapacitating him.
"Defendant then ran down the hallway in the opposite direction, with the fire extinguisher still in his hands, discharging it still at the victim as he left the area," the affidavit reads.
Soltysiak is scheduled to face a preliminary examination in the case at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 28.
The court has appointed attorney Peter Lyons to represent Soltysiak.
Firefighters were called to the Boyne Highlands Resort around 1:40 a.m. Sunday to a report of a fire on the third floor.
Ultimately 12 people were injured as a result of the fire, one of whom sustained severe smoke inhalation and another who was injured when she jumped from an upper floor balcony to escape the building.
In all resort officials said about 40 percent, or 70 of the lodge's 148 rooms were damaged in the fire.
Investigators looking into the cause of the fire were back at the scene today, Wednesday to continue their work.