DuPage inmate charged with pulling fire alarm that caused courthouse evacuation
A DuPage County jail inmate, already relegated to wearing a spit guard to court and being confined to a soundproof box, has added another felony to the list of charges he faces.
Hemant Patel, 25, of West Chicago was charged with disorderly conduct Tuesday and had an additional bail of $50,000 set after authorities said he pulled a fire alarm a day earlier and caused a 25-minute evacuation of the courthouse.
"The pull station (Patel) activated was located in the holding area where inmates are staged when they come over to the courthouse and wait to be brought to the courtroom," said Sgt. Robert Harris of the DuPage County sheriff's office. "When there is an activated fire alarm in the courthouse, a building-wide evacuation is ordered and announced over the courthouse public address system. Protocol dictates that a building-wide sweep is conducted to ensure there is no fire and that all occupants are evacuated."
Patel already was being held on $10,000 bail, charged with criminal damage to government supported property, aggravated battery and direct criminal contempt of court.
He was on probation in July after pleading guilty to resisting a peace officer when court records say Patel lifted a state's attorney's laptop over his head and smashed it on the floor. He was then taken into custody on July 21 and prosecutors filed a motion to revoke probation and reinstate initial aggravated battery charges, alleging he struck a Carol Stream police officer in the arm.
On Tuesday, Patel picked up the criminal contempt charge for cursing at Judge John Kinsella.
He is scheduled to begin a jury trial on Jan. 9 after recently being found mentally fit for trial.