More charges in deadly Fort Sheridan confrontation? Officials not ready to say

  • An online fundraiser has brought in more than $84,000 for the family of Matt Ascaridis, 45, who died after a confrontation with two men at the Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve last month.

    An online fundraiser has brought in more than $84,000 for the family of Matt Ascaridis, 45, who died after a confrontation with two men at the Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve last month. courtesy of GoFundMe

  • Jacob Firestone

    Jacob Firestone

  • Nicholas M. Caban

    Nicholas M. Caban

 
 
Updated 10/6/2022 8:09 AM

Officials won't yet say whether the two young men involved in a confrontation that led to the death of a 45-year-old Highland Park man last month in Lake County's Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve will be charged with a violent crime.

Lake County Forest Preserve police and the Major Crimes Task Force continue to investigate the Sept. 17 death of Matthew Ascaridis and do not have a time frame for when their investigation will conclude, said Lake County sheriff's Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli, spokesman for the task force.

 

"Ensuring investigators are collecting and tendering accurate, valid data is always paramount, versus locking into a predetermined time frame," Covelli said.

When the investigation is complete, officers will turn over all evidence and information to the Lake County state's attorney's office, which will make the final decision on whether to file additional charges, Covelli said.

State's attorney's office spokesman Steve Spagnolo said the office still is actively investigating the case and couldn't comment on additional charges yet.

According to officials, Ascaridis went to speak with two young men, also from Highland Park, who were being loud shortly after 1 a.m. Sept. 17 and was found dead hours later. An autopsy later revealed his death to have been caused from "multiple injuries."

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An online fundraiser for Ascaridis' family has raised more than $84,000 in just under four weeks since his death. Organizers of the fundraiser, at gofundme.com/f/donate-to-help-the-ascaridis-family, described Ascaridis' death as a "senseless act of violence."

Both young men Ascaridis confronted are being held, but the state has yet to levy charges against either related to violence.

Nicholas M. Caban, 20, was charged Sept. 18 with unlawful possession of a firearm without a serial number, and Jacob Firestone, 18, was charged Sept. 20 with two counts of obstructing justice.

Caban and Firestone also suffered injuries in the confrontation, with the latter spending three days in a hospital. Officials have not offered details about the confrontation.

Both young men are due back in court this month -- Firestone on Oct. 12 and Caban on Oct. 19.

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