Grosse Pointe Park man charged with firebombing Art Van family home

Man charged for throwing "Molotov cocktail" at home of Gary and Janet Van Elslander


A 20-year-old man, accused of firebombing the suburban Detroit home of an heir to the Art Van Furniture business, appeared in court.

Charles Patterson Kay of Grosse Pointe Park was charged for allegedly firebombing the home of Gary and Janet Van Eslander.

Friday, at 3:30 a.m. a "Molotov cocktail" was thrown through the side window of the home of the home located on the 700 block of Whittier in Grosse Pointe Park.

The firebomb damaged a kitchen window and started a fire that was put out before firefighters arrived. Van Elslander, his wife and other family members were inside.

Police say their investigation at the scene led to the arrested of Kay. The facts of the case will be presented in court at the preliminary examination.

No one was hurt and the damage was contained to the window of the home, but the contents of the firebomb did not appear to ignite.

In court police say the Van Eslander family was not a target and the crime was random.

Gary Van Elslander is the chairman and president of the Art Van Furniture Corporation and the son of company founder Art Van Elslander. 

Kay is being charged with second degree arson, and sending explosives with intent causing damage, which are each punishable up to 20 years.  He is also being charged with possession of a Molotov cocktail.

~Kay in court on Sunday~

He was arraigned Sunday in Grosse Pointe Park Municipal Court, given a $35,000 bond and scheduled for a preliminary examination May 29.

Kay's lawyers said his client has mental health issues and is currently on probation for underage possession of alcohol. He will have to wear a GPS and alcohol tether as acondition of his bond.

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