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Man's arrest is reminder not to trespass at Northville Psychiatric Hospital ruins

Shane Kelley

NORTHVILLE TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A 28-year-old man faces a misdemeanor charge after Northville Township police said a photo on Facebook showed him trespassing at the former Northville Psychiatric Hospital on 7 Mile Road. 

Shane Kelley, of New Baltimore, was arraigned on a trespassing charge this week. Police said a Facebook post showed Kelley on the roof of one of the buildings at the site of the former hospital. That ultimately led to his arrest. 

From Northville Township police: 

The Northville Township Police Department continues to have an active response to individuals who trespass at the former Northville Psychiatric Hospital on Seven Mile Road. These buildings can present safety concerns, including the presence of asbestos within them. The safety of all those of who live or visit Northville Township is the priority of the Northville Township Police Department. Therefore, there is an ongoing zero tolerance enforcement practice associated to trespassers on this property.

The police department utilizes all resources available to enforce compliance of trespassing, to include the investigation of social media posts associated to the property.

The Northville Township Police Department observed a Facebook post related to the property. The post displayed a picture of a subject on the roof of one of the buildings on the property. Upon completing an investigation, an arrest warrant for trespassing was obtained for Shane Kelley of New Baltimore, MI.
On December 29, 2016, Kelley turned himself into the Northville Township Police Department and was arraigned before Judge Lowe of the 35th District Court in Plymouth.

Trespassing is a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine.

Images: Former Northville Regional Psychiatric Hospital

According to DetroitUrbex.com, the hospital complex was shut down in 2002 after the state said it was not worth the expense it took to operate. 

Immediately after the closure, the state moved to sell the property, which it valued at over $70 million dollars, to plug an expected shortfall in that year’s budget. Initially expected to take only a few months, the sale of the Northville property would drag on for nearly 10 years, as developers fought each other and the township in court over the actual value of the land and what to do with it. One buyer after another bought the land and then backed out, discovering that the hospital site was heavily polluted with medical waste, oil, arsenic, barium, lead and other chemicals. Large amounts of asbestos would have to be removed from all 20 buildings before they could be demolished, as well as the underground tunnel system, adding to the overall cost of cleanup. The sale was finally completed in 2006 for less than half the original price - $31 million dollars.

Read more here.

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