You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 9:17 a.m.

EMU student accused of flooding Halle Library, causing $20,000 damage

By Cindy Heflin

An Eastern Michigan University student police said caused a flood at the Halle Library at EMU was arraigned Wednesday on a charge of malicious destruction of property.

Myles Patrick Aten, 21, of Canton was released on a promise to appear after the arraignment at the Washtenaw County Service Center on one charge of malicious destruction of property of $20,000 or more.

Robert Heighes, interim Eastern Michigan University police chief, said Aten is accused of sticking a pencil in a sprinkler head in a bathroom at the library Nov. 2. The sprinkler head broke, flooding a large area of the second floor at the library.

The library was closed for a few hours while the water was cleaned up and the sprinkler head was repaired, Heighes said. Aten faces possible university disciplinary action in addition to the criminal proceeding, Heighes said.

All the damage to the library has been repaired, Heighes said.

A preliminary hearing for Aten is scheduled for Jan. 31.



Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 12:23 a.m.

I believe there was some damage to the floor, computers (the new Macs that were installed in the last year or two), books, and possible damage done to the first floor when it leaked down (I know someone that works there and this is what they told me). That does beg the question as to, what caused the flooding in the basement on Monday?


Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 12:24 a.m.

rogue comma..sorry


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 11:56 p.m.

Another released on a promise to appear? Oh keeps happening.


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 5:53 p.m.

$20,000 of damage could happen easily if he ruined drywall, carpet, and anything sitting on the floor. Of course they could probably fix it for $5000 if they used illegal immigrants to clean it up but I'm sure they won't because nobody around here does that, right?


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 5:03 p.m.

I'm not a lawyer, and I don't even play one on, but I'm willing to bet the $20,000 figure was arrived at because it triggers a higher offense level and gives the prosecutor a different starting point for plea bargains. It's like state-sanctioned perjury, and it works pretty well when you're dealing with poor people represented by public defenders. Especially in Michigan, which has one of the worst public defender set-ups in the US. When the defendants have money and a private lawyer, it's a horse of a different color, and since indigents are thin on the ground in Canton, EMU may well have to fork over a ton of dough in an attempt to justify the damage claim. Pick your fights with care.

Joe Kidd

Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 6:56 p.m.

Nope. You have to justify the cost. For several years I took cases up against public defenders and their ability was very good, often just as good as a private lawyer.


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 4:41 p.m.

I'm curious as to how they came up with that $20,000 figure. What was damaged for it to come out so high? Certainly not just carpeting (which could be dried out, anyway)


Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 1:51 a.m.

and being that this is a public building, there has to be special cleaning done with an antimicrobial to prevent/kill any mold or micro organisms to prevent lawsuits from people with resperatory issues. Thats pretty big money too.

Joe Kidd

Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 6:54 p.m.

Those sprinklers emit a huge amount of water at a high pressure. You do not want to be standing under one if it goes off. Floors are not water tight. Water flows through floors to lower levels. If the level below has a ceiling you can pretty much kiss that ceiling good bye. Water will run into light fixtures attached to that ceiling too. Water damage may not ruin carpets, but will require some effort to vacuum it up and clean the carpet. If the sub flooring absorbs water it may be ruined. Water can ruin furniture, etc. When you add on labor costs to damage replacement costs, $20k is easy to reach.


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 4:10 p.m.

What a shame! 20K is a lot of damage and ridiculous that it happened in the first place.

Ron Granger

Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 3:03 p.m.

And he is 21 years old. This seems like the kind of dumb thing a misguided kid would do at 10... or 13. I say, throw him to the librarians! Librarian justice is swift and sure. And it is rooted in classical literature. Why, they might even allow him to choose the era from which his punishment will come.


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 5:15 p.m.

@Ron, thanks for the laugh. Seinfeld references always make my day! The second one of the day for me. (My orthopedic surgeon made a reference to Elaine's &quot;spare a square&quot; this AM) Mr. Bookman with Jerry: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 4:08 p.m.

Make him read Faulkner aloud (but softly) for 24 hours nonstop.


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 3:45 p.m.

Instead of stoning him they could book him with large hardcovers. Maybe while he walks down a gauntlet and they can just smack him on the head.

Ron Granger

Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 3:40 p.m.

Ah yes; I recall his name was Mr. Bookman. And while he was harsh, I don't think he could hold a candle to Librarian Justice.


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 3:32 p.m.

The Library Cop on Seinfeld wouldn't handle this nicely.


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 3:19 p.m.

But it must be done quietly.


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 2:50 p.m.

Canton, eh? Another crime perpetrated by somebody from OUT OF TOWN!!


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 2:46 p.m.

I hope they send him the bill. $20,000 at $20 a month would be about 83 years.

Rob MI

Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 5:18 p.m.

That's more than Kwame will end up paying the City of Detroit. Just sayin'