Man charged after ‘suspicious device’ closes parking garage at Vanderbilt hospital


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A man has been charged with attempted arson after he’s accused of trying to set a vehicle on fire on the campus of Vanderbilt University.

This prompted a massive police presence Tuesday morning outside of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The incident happened around 7 a.m. in the West Garage at 2400 Children’s Way.

David Charles Hartgrove, 60, is charged in this case.

Around 5:30 a.m., Vanderbilt University Public Safety were notified of a copper wire in the gas tank of a 2006 Ford F-150. VU police reported the other end of the wire was plugged into an electrical outlet.

Hartgrove was seen on surveillance video unraveling the copper wire inside the 24th Avenue entrance of the garage and cameras caught him by the electrical outlet, according to Vanderbilt University police.

David Hartgrove
David Hartgrove (Courtesy: Metro Nashville Police Department)

Police said he was also seen running out of the garage, going back in, and partially shielding himself behind the wall while touching the outlet. Officers said he did that twice before running away.

He was then spotted on 21st Avenue near Edgehill wearing the same clothes he was seen in on the surveillance video, according to an arrest warrant.

Hartgrove admitted it was him on the video.

He’s charged with attempted arson and trespassing. The warrant stated he was issued a criminal trespass warning multiple times with the most recent being New Year’s Eve. His total bond is $101,000.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is assisting with the investigation.

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