2 Elmhurst teens accused of carving swastikas into school playground equipment

Two Elmhurst teens are accused of carving swastikas into an elementary school’s playground equipment, authorities said.

Christopher Jackson, 18, of the 200 block of Boyd Avenue, appeared at First Appearance Court Saturday. He is charged with one count of hate crime on school property, a Class 3 felony, one count of criminal damage to government-supported property, Class 3 felony, and one count of criminal damage to property, Class 4 felony. He was detained pretrial.

His co-defendant, a 17-year-old juvenile also from Elmhurst, is expected to appear at a detention hearing in the near future.

On May 20, Elmhurst police officers responded to Edison Elementary School at 246 S. Fair Ave., for a report of criminal damage to property.

Upon arrival, officers observed multiple swastikas and Nazi phrases carved into plastic playground equipment, authorities said.

An investigation showed Jackson and the juvenile carved the swastikas and phrases into the equipment with a knife, authorities said.

Damage to the playground equipment is estimated at about $4,471.36.

Jackson was taken into custody on May 20 without incident, authorities said.

“Hate crimes have no place in a civilized society,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said. “The allegations against these two defendants, who are both in their teens, are very disturbing. DuPage County is an extremely welcoming community, and we have no tolerance whatsoever for actions such as alleged in this case.”

Elmhurst police Chief Michael McLean said several elementary schoolchildren saw the carved symbols on the playground equipment during recess and alerted their teacher.

Jackson’s next court appearance is scheduled for June 17 in front of Judge Michael Reidy.

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