On February 10, 2012, at 2:35 a.m., I was at work when I got a phone call from the police saying there had been damage to my vehicle and asking me to come over to where it was parked. I told them I was at work and asked if I needed to be there, assuming someone had just tapped my car when trying to parallel park, or something. The officer responded that I needed to get over there immediately.
I ran over to where my car was parked, behind the train tracks on Irving on the gravel road, and was greeted by three police cars and a young male being handcuffed with his head down. I looked over at my car, there was glass everywhere, my back passenger window was completely missing, and my driver’s door handle was completely smashed in. The slab of concrete he had thrown at my car multiple times was laying in my backseat.
I still cannot understand why someone who doesn’t even know me thought it was a good idea to destroy the most expensive and precious thing I own.
Thankfully, a Domino’s employee happened to be taking out the trash while the incident was taking place, he witnessed the damage being done and called the police.
One of the police officers gave me the incident report and told me to take my car in to get an estimate on the damage and get it back to them as soon as possible. The next day, aside from having to crawl into my car from the passenger door (as I still do), I had to go to the gas station to use the vacuum to get all the glass out from the seats and floor, take my car to the body shop to get an estimate, and bring the estimate to the police station. The damages totaled to $1,973.91. As a college student struggling with budget as it is, I cannot afford that.
A couple days later, when I was finally able to get on the phone with one of the assistants to the state’s attorney, I was brushed off and spoken to with no respect. However, I was able to retrieve the full name of the perp and the case number. I instantly went on the McClean County Circuit Court’s Public Access page to look up the case, and was shocked. They are charging the kid with Criminal Damage to Property less than $300, a Class A misdemeanor, basically a slap on the wrist, when he clearly committed a felony (damage of $1,973.91).
This really upset me. This kid viscously destroyed something close to my heart for no apparent reason, caused me a load of stress and inconvenience, and is barely being punished for it.
Five days later, my restitution papers came in the mail from the states attorney. Again, where they listed his charges, showed “Criminal Damage to Property less than $300.” I filled out the paperwork and brought it into the states attorney’s office, where I got to speak to a paralegal. I showed her the estimate for the damages and what his charges were, and asked if they will up it to a felony when they see that the damage way exceeded $300, and the defendant had clearly committed a felony offense. She told me that it is a possibility, but will not necessarily happen.
Trying to put myself in an unbiased position (since I am extremely angry at this kid for doing this to me, and want him to be adequately punished), I still cannot figure out any possible way that it can be considered ethical to charge someone with a misdemeanor when he committed a felony! He pled not guilty at his initial appearance, and is having a jury trial. If he is found not guilty of this offense, even with an eyewitness, I will get no restitution or peace of mind.
Someone please tell me how this is ethical!!