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updated: 8/1/2014 12:51 PM

Lisle man sentenced for starting playground fire

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  • Michael Bucher

    Michael Bucher

 
 

A 23-year-old Lisle man was cold and drunk in the early morning hours of Aug. 13, 2013, when he and another man decided to light a fire in a playground to keep warm.

That decision landed Michael Bucher before Judge Blanche Hill Fawell on Friday morning.

Bucher, of the 5400 block of Burr Oak Street, pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge of criminal damage to property and was sentenced to two years of probation and 30 days in the Sheriff's Work Assistance Program, or SWAP, and ordered to pay his half portion of restitution at $7,385.

Assistant State's Attorney Deborah Brewer said Bucher and Tyler Croy, 22, of the 5500 block of Elm Street in Lisle, were intoxicated and cold at 5 a.m. when they started a "campfire" that spread and destroyed playground equipment at Kingston Park in an unincorporated area near Lisle.

"They lit the fire to stay warm, then went to get something to eat," Brewer said. "When they came back, the fire had expanded considerably."

Police found the men standing near the park, at Kingston Avenue and Kohley Road, and arrested them after questioning why they were there.

Bucher could not tell Fawell why he started the fire other than to say it "was a really bad decision."

She agreed.

"You are 23. This is really stupid and dangerous," Fawell said. "Usually kids who drink in the park aren't old enough to go to a bar or somewhere else. You're old enough to go to a bar."

Prosecutors said Croy, who has no previous criminal record, is expected to accept a similar deal on Monday.

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