COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - The man charged with attacking a Bronson fireman last month when a blaze broke out in Matteson Township has been bound over to Branch County Circuit Court to stand trial. 28-year old Aaron Van Vorst on Monday waived his district court preliminary examination. A pretrial conference has been set for August 10, 2014.
Van Vorst faces two felony assault counts after also allegedly attacking a Consumer Energy utility worker who responded to the scene. He’s accused of kicking Assistant Bronson Fire Chief Kenny Stutzman in the stomach. Authorities said Van Vorst was enraged because he thought the fire response to the blaze that heavily damaged the family’s two story farmhouse on Wattles Road on June Tenth was too slow. The accidental fire was blamed on an electrical malfunction with a living room plug outlet.
More than 3 dozen Stutzman supporters, including many fellow firefighters, public safety officers and first responders from around the Branch County area, turned out for yesterday’s court hearing. Van Vorst’s attorney told the judge his client was considering entering a plea in the case and also revealed the defendant is currently on a heart transplant list. Van Vorst remains free on bond.