After day of searching near GR, suspect arrested

Thomas Soisson found only about a mile from scene of earlier search

Thomas Soisson
An undated mug shot of Thomas Soisson. (Sept. 21, 2017)


ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — After authorities spent hours earlier in the day searching for an “armed and dangerous” suspect north of Grand Rapids, they arrested him Thursday night.

Thomas Edward Soisson took off on foot after spotting deputies who were surveilling the area of Alpine Avenue NW and 3 Mile Road in Walker, authorities told 24 Hour News 8. The deputies gave chase and soon tackled him, and he was taken into custody without further incident.

Authorities could later been seen preparing to execute a search warrant at America’s Best Value Inn & Suites on 3 Mile at Alpine, where they believed Soisson had a room under a different name.

Alpine Avenue NW, Thomas Soisson
Authorities search a motel in the area of Alpine Avenue NW and 3 Mile Road in Walker in connection to the arrest of Thomas Soisson. (Sept. 21, 2017)

The Kent County Sheriff’s Department said earlier in the day that Soisson, 28, “committed a violent crime while armed with a weapon.” Undersheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young clarified he was believed to be armed with a knife.

There was also a warrant out for Soisson’s arrest on a parole violation. The sheriff’s office said he was on parole after being convicted of fleeing and eluding and resisting and obstructing police.

The search for the suspect began at 8:58 a.m. near Alpine Avenue and 4 Mile Road NW in Alpine Township. A Michigan State Police helicopter could be seen hovering over the area surrounding York Creek Apartments. Police K-9 units also assisted in the effort.

A Michigan State Police helicopter hovers over the area of Alpine Avenue and 4 Mile Road NW in Alpine Township, searching for an armed suspect. (Autumn Lynn/Facebook)

While the manhunt was underway, authorities advised all residents to stay indoors and report any suspicious activity. All Comstock Park Public School buildings were under a “Code Yellow” soft lockdown.

On Thursday afternoon, the sheriff’s department said residents should remain cautious because Soisson was on the loose, but they were “free to go about their business as usual.” They warned he was considered armed and dangerous.

The America’s Best Value Inn & Suites is only about a mile from where authorities were searching earlier in the day.

Soisson has a criminal record dating back to when he was juvenile that includes at least four felonies and four misdemeanors including home invasion and drug possession. His convictions came in both Kent and Ottawa counties. He is also on the sex offender registry for life, according to court records.