Missing countertops attract attention of police, Target 8
By Henry Erb,
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — On a cool December morning, two Kentwood police officers and an Ionia County couple trooped into a granite warehouse off Broadmoor Avenue on an unusual mission.
They were after the countertops Bill and Nicole Thompson had already paid for but had trouble getting. The Thompsons say Elite Home and Stone Supply missed repeated appointments to install the countertops. Meanwhile, their kitchen counters were just plywood.
“It’s just been one excuse after another,” Nicole Thompson said.
So they lined up another installer and asked Kentwood police for help.
At the warehouse, the surprised but cooperative company owner Eric King said he had the countertops in the back.
“It’s all right there,” he said, going on to tell the officers, “We are so far behind… Everybody’s trying to get everything done.”
The Thompsons got their granite.
Eric King got arrested.
A judge had issued a warrant ordering police to bring him in when they ran across him because he missed a court hearing for another case in which a Grand Rapids family was trying to collect money they paid King and his previous business, King Builders.
Andrew Ysasi said he paid King $60,000 to get started building a cottage up north. Some dirt was moved, Ysasi said, around but King never built the cottage. After more than a year, the Ysasis sued and got a court judgement. King was supposed to attend a hearing to reveal his assets but didn’t show. That’s when the warrant was issued.
After his arrest, King went before a judge, posted a bond and was released.
“We want justice,” Ysasi said.
He’s keeping up the pressure even though he doubts whether his family will ever see their money again.
“Looks like we’re not going to see any of it unless, of course, the money is somewhere else in assets that we’re not aware of,” he said.
He’s not alone. Trinity Baptist Church in Grand Rapids sued King Builders for not completing work it paid for and got a judgement for $156,000. A couple of suppliers also have judgements against King Builders.
Consumer complaints against King’s granite business are mounting. Unhappy customers include Ionia Deputy Mayor John Milewski.
“I think we trusted him too much, too soon,” Milewski said.
He said King promised countertops for a kitchen remodel but missed installation appointments. The last one was the day the Thompsons got their countertops with the help of Kentwood police and King was briefly arrested.
Milewski said King explained what had happened in a phone call. Milewski tried to pin him down on an installation date. He said King told him he would reach out to Milewski’s contractor by that evening and arrange an install date for the same week — but that didn’t happen.
Milewski said his contractor ultimately got countertops from another company and is trying to get $5,800 back from King.
“This shouldn’t have to happen to anybody else,” Milewski said.
Target 8 investigators tried talking to King in person the day the Thompsons picked up their countertops but he was about to be arrested and said he didn’t have time to talk. He didn’t answer later emails.
Meanwhile, a Michigan State Police detective has been looking into King’s business dealings. A prosecutor will eventually decide whether he should be charged with a crime.
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