Masonic hall arson suspect now charged with setting all 3 fires
New charges have been laid against the Richmond, B.C., man accused in connection with a suspicious fire at a Masonic hall in Vancouver last week.
According to the B.C. Prosecution Service, Benjamin Orion Carson Kohlman, 42, now faces a total of three counts of arson, along with three counts of break, enter and commit arson.
The new charges relate to incidents at the Masonic hall on Rupert Street in Vancouver, as well as halls in Lynn Valley and along Lonsdale Avenue in North Vancouver.
Kohlman also faces one count of assaulting a peace officer and one count of failing to stop for a peace officer.
The suspect made a brief first appearance in Vancouver provincial court via video on Tuesday afternoon.
Police arrested Kohlman a week ago in Burnaby after he allegedly set the three fires in the span of less than two hours.
Investigators have said little about a potential motive, though a search by CTV News of social media posts found someone with the same name as the suspect on Facebook who appeared to take credit for the fires less than an hour after the third blaze, and a few hours before Kohlman’s arrest.
Video obtained by CTV News shows the suspect walking away from flames in the doorway of the Rupert Street Masonic Hall carrying a gas can, before getting into an altercation with a man Vancouver police said was an off-duty officer, and getting away.
Kohlman remains in custody and is scheduled to return to court on May 7.
None of the charges have been proven in court.