By Bob Uphues
Brookfield police have arrested the man they believe was responsible for smashing the windshields of more than 20 vehicles overnight in that village on June 13-14, charging him with one felony count and two misdemeanor counts of criminal damage to property.
Patrick Newton, 29, who reportedly is homeless and came to the Chicago area from Ohio, appeared in front of a Cook County Circuit Court Judge for a bond hearing on Wednesday afternoon.
He being held at Cook County Jail on $5,000 bond, awaiting a July 9 court date at the Maybrook courthouse in Maywood.
Local investigators identified Newton as a suspect with the help of witnesses and surveillance video. Brookfield police had broadcast a description of the suspect to neighboring police agencies and on June 25 received a call from Chicago police, who arrested Newton that day for attempting to break the window of a vehicle in the vicinity of 51st Street and Blackstone Avenue.
Newton reportedly confessed to at least two incidents in Brookfield during interviews with Brookfield detectives. Police said Newton has a criminal record that includes nine prior arrests for criminal damage to property, one for invasion of privacy and one for obstructing justice.
In all, police believe Newton is responsible for all 23 incidents reported on June 14. Nearly every incident involved someone throwing a brick, cinder block, landscaping stone or fragment of granite countertop through the rear windshield of a vehicle.
The vehicles were parked on driveways, on the street and in alleys throughout the north end of town in an area bounded by 31st Street, Monroe Avenue, Raymond Avenue and Oak Avenue.
Brookfield was not the only village to experience such incidents that night. North Riverside and LaGrange Park also reported incidents where windshields were smashed. It is not yet clear if those incidents are related to the ones in Brookfield.
LaGrange Park Police Chief Tim Contois said that village experienced five incidents where rear windshields were smashed in with bricks overnight on June 13-14. The incidents were all north of 31st street and east of the Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad tracks.
Contois said LaGrange Park detectives want to interview Newton.
North Riverside police, meanwhile, reported eight window-smashing incidents overnight on June 13-14, all of them occurring between 5th Avenue and 17th Avenue. North Riverside police continue their investigation into those incidents, according to Commander David Kopka.