SOUTH HAVEN — A South Haven man faces a long list of felony and misdemeanor charges after allegedly threatening his girlfriend, setting her vehicle on fire and then leading police on a dangerous chase while driving intoxicated and pointing a firearm at them.
James Ochoa-Rodriguez, 32, was arraigned Monday and Tuesday in Seventh District Court on multiple charges that include, fleeing police, resisting and obstructing police officers, assault and battery, arson of personal property between $200-$1,000; assault with intent to do great bodily harm, domestic violence third offense and operating while intoxicated.
Judge Art Clarke set his bond at $300,000. Ochoa-Rodriguez’s next court appearance will be Aug. 28, according to district court records.
Police say the events leading to the arrest of Ochoa-Rodriguez unfolded during the early morning hours of Friday, Aug. 16, on Center Street in Bangor, when he allegedly set his girlfriend’s van on fire. Bangor Police named Ochoa-Rodriguez as the suspect and notified law enforcement agencies throughout Van Buren County. Later that morning, South Haven Police were called to a local gas station where witnesses told them Ochoa-Rodriguez had pointed a firearm at someone.
Officers found the suspect’s vehicle and tried to stop it. However. Ochoa-Rodriguez accelerated and a pursuit ensued, according to South Haven police.
As Ochoa-Rodriguez was heading east toward Bangor, the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department took over. While the pursuit continued, Ochoa-Rodriguez allegedly pointed a firearm at responding officers several times and was able to avoid stop sticks on two occasions.
Police say he also telephoned a resident from Bangor and told this person that he was going back to the arson scene and make police shoot him in front of her.