Former Northville firefighter accused of using helicopter, firearm to stalk terrified victim

Patrick Nolan charged with aggravated stalking

CANTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A former Northville firefighter is behind bars on accusations he used a helicopter and a firearm while stalking a terrified victim in Canton Township, police said.

Patrick Nolan's alleged victim is terrified and afraid of what he will do next, officials said.

Local 4 is not identifying the victim.

According to police reports, Nolan has a long list of violations against the victim, including a personal protection order violation, discharging a firearm and using a helicopter to harass the victim.

Nolan's home on Sheffield Court in Plymouth Township went up in flames on New Year's Eve, officials said. Nobody was home at the time.

  • UPDATE: The Plymouth Township Fire Department confirmed Jan. 16, 2019 that the New Year's Eve fire was an act of arson. The fire remains under investigation by police.

The next day, a person walked into the Canton Police Department with serious concerns about Nolan. The victim was "afraid of what Patrick may do" and said Nolan was responsible for burning the home, police said.

According to police reports, Nolan made a death threat, saying he was going to kill the victim in 2014. A PPO was granted and renewed until 2018.

Police reports say Nolan used a helicopter to harass the victim in May 2018, was arrested on suspicion of shooting a gun in June and didn't show up for a PPO violation hearing in July.

In November, Nolan didn't comply with mental health screening requirements or any of the probation conditions, according to authorities.

The violations and the fire prompted the victim to come forward, authorities said. The victim is "terrified of him because he is unpredictable" and "terrified of what he's going to do next," according to police.

Officials said the victim thinks Nolan might be homicidal.

Police tracked down Nolan on Friday. He cooperated and was placed in handcuffs, police said.

Nolan is being held at the Canton Police Department on $50,000 bail.

Nolan allegedly tries to follow victim on Instagram

Police said the victim had a PPO against Nolan that expired Nov. 15 and was extended until a court date on Nov. 27. Nolan was served the PPO on Nov. 13 at his home in Plymouth Township, police said.

The victim started getting alerts Nov. 14 that Nolan was following the victim's Instagram account under a different name, police said. The victim didn't accept the request and received a second one from a different Instagram name, according to authorities.

The first account had a picture with Nolan and their old dog as the profile picture, according to police. Within minutes, the account was changed again and the profile picture showed someone else, police said.

Police said Nolan's Instagram account sends emails for a changed password or screen name to his work email, which the victim can access because it is the company email address.

The victim drove to the business Nov. 16 and checked Nolan's old work email, police said. The victim saw emails from Instagram on Nolan's work email that verified the name and email had been changed on his account to match the notifications, police said.

The victim documented the evidence for the Nov. 27 court appearance, according to officials.

Concerns over Plymouth Township home

Around 2 p.m. Jan. 2, the victim met with an officer at the Canton Police Department front desk, according to records.

The victim wanted to document concerns about Nolan after his house was destroyed in a fire, police said.

Officials said Nolan and the victim were separated but living in the same residence in 2013 and 2014. In 2015, the victim moved out.

Records show the victim was afraid of what Nolan would do because the victim believed he was responsible for burning down the house.

According to the victim, Nolan had until August 2018 to sell the home, and when he didn't, the court authorized forcing the sale. Nolan was to receive all the proceeds from the sale of the home, officials said.

There is a court case for Friday to clear the victim's name from the mortgage and title to the residents, police said.

The victim told police Nolan is under investigation in Oakland County for insurance fraud. He allegedly received a $1 million payout, and the insurance company placed a lien on the Plymouth Township residence that burned down, according to authorities.

Based on the recent events, the victim believed Nolan would do anything to bring them harm, police said.

Alleged death threat leads to PPO

Since 2014, Nolan would randomly pop in and out of the workplace where the victim is listed as the owner of the business, officials said.

In November 2017, Nolan allegedly closed the door to the officer where the victim was and physically blocked the victim's means to escape the room, according to authorities.

Nolan threatened to kill the victim, police said.

The threat caused the victim to seek out a PPO, which was granted Nov. 15, 2017, by the Third Circuit Court. It was valid until Nov. 15, 2018, and extended, officials said.

Alleged violations

In November 2017, Nolan packed up his office and tried to leave with business property, according to police records.

On July 6, 2018, Nolan didn't show up to a PPO violation hearing, officials said. He was arrested for the bench warrant on July 20.

Nolan was sentenced to four months of probation and mental health screening and ordered to comply with any doctor orders from the screening, according to authorities.

During a Nov. 30 probation discharge meeting, it was determined that Nolan didn't comply with the mental health screening requirements or any of the other probation conditions, police said. He was left on probation until Feb. 12.

At the hearing, Nolan asked where the victim lives so he knew where to avoid, according to officials.

In the past, Nolan has sat in a vehicle by the victim's next door neighbor's house, police said.

He hacked into the phone system at work and on the victim's cellphone, police said. He was able to do so because he knew the business systems, police said.

Nolan shut down utilities to the business and closed several company bank accounts, officials said.

He could also track the company vehicle, police said.

The victim has moved four times during the process, according to police. Nolan found the victim's residence every time, officials said. At each home the victim has seen Nolan drive by in a vehicle, though the vehicles change as he borrows or rents them, according to authorities.

Due to this behavior and the house fire, the victim believes Nolan has nothing to lose, police said.

Here is a statement from a detective assigned to the case for investigation:

"I called (the victim) and spoke to (the victim) about this situation. (The victim) stated that (the victim) feels really terrified of him because he is unpredictable. (The victim) stated that since he has done these (things), Patrick allegedly burned his house down on 1/2/2019, that (the victim) is terrified of what he is going to do next. (The victim) is scared of him harming (the victim). (The victim) is constantly looking over (the victim)'s shoulder. (The victim) is not sleeping and has taken self defense classes. This has been a huge issue which has affected (the victim)'s business and personal life. (The victim) stated that (the victim) is fearful for (the victim)'s life and thinks that Patrick might kill (the victim). (The victim) also told me that there have been several other incidents that have occurred where (the victim) has not called the police because (the victim) is scared of Patrick finding out."

Timeline of incidents

Police provided a timeline of the incidents in the case.

April 5: Nolan allegedly used a helicopter to harass the victim.

April 10: Nolan tries to obtain property from the victim, police said.

May 27: Nolan was arrested on a PPO violation for being on the victim's property.

June 1: Nolan allegedly canceled the business credit cards.

June 7: Nolan allegedly closed the business bank accounts.

June 14: Police said they arrested Nolan for firing a fun in the first week of September 2017.

July 11: Nolan cashes a check made out to the victim on an insurance claim, police said.

July 20: Nolan tried to use Facebook to contact a nonprotected party in the PPO.

Nov. 15: The current report was filed.

About the Authors:

Karen Drew is the anchor of Local 4 News First at 4, weekdays at 4 p.m. She is also an award-winning investigative reporter and part of the Local 4 Defenders team.

Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.