A man was arrested Monday night after he allegedly set fire to a building at an Odlin Road ice cream shop on Easter.
Michael Benfield, 56, formerly of Tacoma, Washington, was charged with arson and burglary, according to Lt. Brent Beaulieu, a spokesperson for the Bangor Police Department.
Benfield allegedly started a fire at about 2:46 p.m. Sunday that engulfed a storage building at Fielder’s Choice Ice Cream.
He was arrested at about 8:30 p.m. Monday at his Bangor residence, and is being held at the Penobscot County Jail.
Benfield made his first appearance before a judge Monday afternoon remotely at the Penobscot Judicial Center from the jail.
He was not asked to enter pleas to the charges because he has not yet been indicted by the Penobscot County grand jury.
Superior Court Justice William Anderson set bail at $25,000 cash as requested by the Penobscot County District Attorney’s office. Benfield is next due in court on June 3.
Information about how the fire started was not made public during the court hearing.
Benfield had been staying at the Ramada Inn next door to the ice cream shop, according to police. The motel has been housing much of the city’s homeless population since the shelters have limited the number of people they can house due to the pandemic.
If convicted of the more serious charge of arson, Benfield faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. He also could be ordered to pay restitution for costs that the business’ insurance policy doesn’t cover.