Elmhurst man ordered held after being charged with hate crime

A DuPage County judge ordered an 18-year-old Elmhurst man held Saturday after being charged with a hate crime for allegedly carving swastikas into an elementary school’s playground equipment, DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin and Elmhurst Police Chief Michael McLean announced.

Christopher Jackson. of the 200 block of Boyd Avenue, Elmhurst, has been charged with one count of Hate Crime – School Property (Class 3 Felony), one count of Criminal Damage to Government Supported Property (Class 3 Felony), and one count of Criminal Damage to Property (Class 4 Felony), according to a news release.

Jackson’s co-defendant, a 17-year-old juvenile also from Elmhurst, is expected to appear at a detention hearing in the near future.

On May 20, Elmhurst police officers responded to Edison School, 246 S. Fair Avenue, for a report of criminal damage, the release said. The officers allegedly found multiple swastikas and Nazi phrases carved into the plastic playground equipment. An investigation found that Jackson and the juvenile allegedly carved the swastikas and phrases into the equipment with a knife.

Damage to the playground equipment is estimated at approximately $4,471.36. Jackson was taken into custody on May 20, without incident, the release said.

“Hate crimes have no place in a civilized society,” Berlin said in a statement. “The allegations against these two defendants, who are both in their teens, are very disturbing. DuPage County is an extremely welcoming community, and we have no tolerance whatsoever for actions such as alleged in this case.”

“It is alleged several elementary school children saw the damaging carved symbols on the playground equipment during their school recess and alerted their teacher,” McLean said in the release. “I would like to thank the staff of Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 for alerting Elmhurst Police to the incident which allowed our detectives to perform a prompt investigation.”

Jackson’s next court appearance is scheduled for June 17, for arraignment in front of Judge Michael Reidy, the release said.

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