St. Charles police chief says juveniles charged with Pheasant Run fire had vandalized site before
There is evidence that the juveniles charged last week in connection with causing the fire in May that destroyed large parts of the shuttered Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles had previously vandalized the complex, according to St. Charles Police Chief James Keegan.
"We know from going through their (electronic) devices, we definitely pinpointed a few occasions where they went in and caused damage, breaking windows, throwing things out windows, things of that nature," Keegan said following Monday's St. Charles City Council meeting. "There was a group of some of the minors -- maybe not all of the four -- but there was a group of at least a few of them that went in at least two other times and caused damage in the resort prior to the day that (they) went in as a group of four and started the fires."
Two male juveniles -- one from Carol Stream and one from Wheaton -- have been charged with causing the fire, while two other male juveniles -- one from Carol Stream and one from Winfield -- have each been charged with trespassing at the resort.
DuPage County Judge Anthony Coco had ordered that the two charged with starting the fire be detained, while the other two were released to the custody of their parents on home detention.
The detained juveniles have each been charged with one felony count of arson, one felony count of burglary, one felony count of criminal damage to property and three misdemeanor counts of criminal trespass to a building. The two boys who were released to their parents' custody have each been charged with two counts of criminal trespass to a building. The boys' ages range from 14 to 17 years old.
"We believe there were two intentional fires set," Keegan said. "Some of that material was corroborated based on the arson investigation we did with our fire department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the State Fire Marshal ... There were two distinct fires in two separate areas."