Man guilty of causing bomb scare, evacuation at Aurora casino
A 30-year-old Chicago man was found guilty Friday of causing a bomb scare that evacuated the Hollywood Casino in Aurora, closed surrounding streets and drew more than 150 first responders to the area in February.
After a three-day bench trial, Kane County Judge D.J. Tegeler found Mustadin Muadinov guilty of felony disorderly conduct, a crime that carries a sentence ranging from probation to up to five years in prison.
No one was injured in the Feb. 12, 2018, case, and no bombs or other incendiary devices were found on Maudinov's person or a box truck that he parked in a handicap spot at the main casino entrance.
Tegeler noted it didn't matter that Muadinov was dressed in what prosecutors described as "Muslim attire," but that the casino "acted appropriately" after Muadinov asked to be taken to President Donald Trump or the casino leader.
Muadinov insisted he had a "gift from Allah" but it was a message that he wanted to "destroy" the casino and replace it with something that would benefit the entire community.
"When the defendant made the comments he would 'destroy' the casino, those comments had to be taken seriously," Tegeler said.
Assistant Public Defender Brenda Willett argued it was more of a misunderstanding, as the "gift" Muadinov -- whose native language is Turkish -- talked about was a religious message and not a physical item. Willett noted that Muadinov was separated from his wife and kids, essentially homeless and living out of the box truck.
Willett said Muadinov went to the casino for 2½ hours the night on Feb. 11, 2018, to get warm.
Assistant State's Attorney Joe Cullen argued that Muadinov was actually "casing" the casino when he went there the night before the bomb scare and his arrest.
Cullen noted that Muadinov walked around the entire casino, visiting bathrooms, the parking deck and even opened an emergency exit before complaining to management about the outfits the cocktail waitresses were wearing.
The complaint was passed on to a manager, who called Muadinov on Feb. 12 to set up a meeting about his issue; Muadinov was actually nearby and came to the casino. Muadinov made the alarming statements and was smiling when authorities handcuffed him, Cullen said.
Since his arrest, Muadinov had been held at the Kane County jail on $973,000 bail. Bond was revoked after the guilty verdict and he will be sentenced on Dec. 11.
Before that, he is to undergo a psychological evaluation by the Kane County Diagnostic Center.
"We live in a time when public safety officials and innocent civilians alike take threats of mass casualties seriously," said State's Attorney Joe McMahon. "The response to this incident by Aurora's first responders, as well as this prosecution, demonstrate that threats of mass violence are not viewed lightly and that the protection of the public is paramount."