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Posted on: July 29, 2022

Man Charged With Criminal Defacement Of Fire Hydrant

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A Plainfield man was arrested July 29 following an investigation of multiple reports of criminal defacement of a City-owned fire hydrant.

The fire hydrant was painted this summer by a Geneva resident who was participating in the City’s “Art on Fire” program, which was established in 2013 to help bring artistic creativity into the community. Residents have painted more than 100 hydrants throughout Geneva during the past 10 years.

The defacement incidents gained attention because the offender painted over the artist’s original Pride rainbow flag design.

Jonathan E. Darmstadt, 55, of the 25000 block of Catherine Drive, Plainfield, has been charged with two counts of criminal defacement of property, 720 ILCS 5/21-1.3, Class A misdemeanors.

Around noon July 29, Geneva Police responded to a witness report of defacement to the fire hydrant located on Kirk Road just north of East State Street (Route 38). Officers were provided with a description of a possible offender and vehicle.

The subsequent investigation led police to a nearby business in the 1800 block of Averill Road in Geneva, where the vehicle was discovered. Police questioning of the registered vehicle owner led to Darmstadt’s arrest.

The Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office reviewed the case and authorized charges against Darmstadt, who has been released on bond. Darmstadt is presumed innocent on all charges until proven guilty in a court of law.

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