Man accused of crashing into home, paralyzing its owner, now charged with arson

A Crystal Lake man awaiting trial on accusations he crashed his vehicle into a home last year, paralyzing its owner, faces new arson charges alleging he poured gas throughout a Lakewood home and set it ablaze.

A $500,000 warrant was issued Sunday for the arrest of Connor C. Kirkpatrick, 28, of the 9300 block of Firth Court. He is charged with aggravated arson, residential arson and criminal damage to property causing more than $100,000 in damage, according to a criminal complaint.

Police say that about 3:45 a.m. Saturday, Kirkpatrick "poured approximately four gallons of gasoline throughout the interior of the residence and ignited it with a cigarette lighter from his pocket.

Crystal Lake Fire Rescue Department officials said they received a call at 5:54 a.m. Saturday about a fire at the single-family, one-story residence. When the first units arrived at the scene six minutes later, firefighters reported the fire appeared to have burned itself out and no residents were present, according to the department.

There was significant heat and smoke damage throughout the home, which was declared uninhabitable. Damage to the structure and contents is estimated at $250,000, officials said.

Kirkpatrick is charged with criminal damage to property over $100,000, aggravated reckless driving and reckless conduct in connection with a July 27 crash in Crystal Lake.

He has pleaded not guilty.

Police allege Kirkpatrick was driving an SUV 96 mph in a residential zone with a 30 mph speed limit when he crashed into the garage, then the home of Angelo Pleotis, 65.

Pleotis, who was in the shower at the time of the crash, suffered collapsed lungs, broken ribs, head trauma, lacerations and spinal fractures and dislocations that caused his paralysis, his family has said.

Kirkpatrick initially was hospitalized after the crash, then taken into custody in October. He was freed pending trial after posting $5,000 bond, according to court documents.

A GoFundMe set up last year by Pleotis' family is seeking to raise $250,000 to help with medical bills and the repair of his home. The fundraiser had raised $100,301 as of Monday.

Kirkpatrick's attorney declined to comment Monday.

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