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Elmhurst man ordered held after being charged with hate crime

A DuPage County judge ordered an 18-year-old Elmhurst man detained Saturday after he was charged with a hate crime for allegedly carving swastikas into an elementary school’s playground equipment, according to 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 misdemeanor), according to a press 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 the Edison School, 246 S. Fair Avenue, for a report of criminal damage, the release said. The officers reportedly found several swastikas and Nazi phrases in the plastic playground equipment. Investigation revealed that Jackson and the juvenile had 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 without incident on May 20, the release said.

“Hate crimes have no place in a civilized society,” Berlin said in a statement. “The allegations against these two defendants, both of whom are teenagers, are deeply disturbing. DuPage County is an extremely welcoming community and we will not tolerate any action as alleged in this case.”

“It is alleged that several primary school children saw the harmful cut-out symbols on the playground equipment during their school break and alerted their teacher,” McLean said in the statement. “I would like to thank the staff of Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 for alerting the Elmhurst Police Department to the incident, which allowed our detectives to quickly conduct an investigation.”

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

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