A Huntley trustee who faces a pair of misdemeanor charges alleging he trespassed at a local bar and sent a threatening text message to its owner says he has no plans to step down from office.
Police say Nick Hanson, 32, previously had been barred from Parkside Pub but on April 3 he was arrested on charges of defying the ban and texting Jeff Lovell, one of the pub's owners.
"I don't feel I've necessarily done anything criminally wrong," the first-term trustee said in explaining why he plans to stay on the board. "I did not realize it was illegal and the potential to be arrested."
Hanson said the spat is a personal matter between him and Lovell.
"At one time, Jeff felt I had something to do with a breakup between him and his girlfriend at the time, and that's where all this comes from," Hanson said. "Some people just can't accept they are possibly at fault."
Lovell could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
According to police, it all started at 10:30 p.m. on Dec. 10, 2011, when police got a phone call from Hanson, saying Lovell was near his house and sending harassing text messages to him, Police Chief John Perkins said. Back then, Hanson lived in the 10000 block of Church Street, which is two blocks away from the pub. The pub is home of the annual Turkey Testicle Festival.
Police responded and found both men had been sending text messages to each other and at that point, police gave them each verbal trespass warnings -- Hanson was ordered not to go to the bar and Lovell was told to stay away from Hanson's house, Perkins said. Both men were again told to stop texting each other. It didn't end there.
According to Perkins:
On Feb. 12, it was Lovell's turn to tell police that Hanson was sending him threatening text messages. That day, police warned them to stay away from each other and to stop texting each other and issued another trespass warning to Hanson for texting, Perkins said.
On March 29, Hanson went into the pub and its other owner told him to leave. After a few words were exchanged, Hanson left without any problems and the police weren't called.
At 9 p.m. on April 3, Hanson returned to the pub, but this time the owners weren't there so the bartender told him to leave. Hanson instead sat at the bar and ordered a drink. The bartender served him, but tried to reach Lovell. Hanson left after about 20 or 30 minutes and Lovell connected with the bartender some time after Hanson left. Lovell then called police, who arrested Hanson at his home on Frederick Way. Before police arrived at 10:30 p.m., Hanson sent a threatening text message to Lovell.
He did not receive any special treatment for being a trustee, Perkins said.
"It's all the same, no matter who we're dealing with," Perkins said.
Hanson was charged with criminal trespass to property and harassment through an electronic communication device -- both of which are Class B misdemeanors, punishable by up to six months in prison or up to two years probation. He paid $150 cash bond that same night and is scheduled to appear in court May 25.
"We're convinced Nick Hanson knew he wasn't supposed to be at the bar because he'd been told by us and by the owners," Perkins said. "There's really little doubt that he knew he wasn't supposed to be in the bar."
This is not the first time Hanson has been in trouble with the law.
In 2007, he faced domestic battery charges alleging he picked his wife up out of a chair, threw her on the floor, then threw the chair at her, striking her head and arm. She was not hospitalized for her injuries and later dropped the charges against her husband, Perkins said.
Last November, Hanson's wife, Tina, was arrested on a charge of aggravated domestic battery, alleging she hit him in the head with an ash tray, causing a large cut that required medical attention, Perkins said. That felony case is pending.