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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Press Release

Friday, October 24, 2014

Bond Set at $ 5 Million Full Cash For Man Accused of Hate Crime/Vandalizing Synagogue

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin announced today that charges have been filed against John White, 40 (d.o.b. 9/3/1974) of 13 Tartan Lakes Drive, Westmont, for smashing windows and vandalizing the Etz Chaim Synagogue located at 1710 South Highland Avenue in Lombard. White appeared in Bond Court this afternoon where Judge Michael Wolfe ordered he be held on $5 million full cash bond. 

            At approximately 4:30 p.m. on October 21, 2014, the Lombard Police Department received a 911 phone call regarding a disturbance at the synagogue. Upon their arrival, officers encountered White in his vehicle driving recklessly all over the property, both on and off the pavement. While at the scene, police discovered graffiti of an anti-Semitic nature on the synagogue. Police also discovered that seven of the synagogue’s windows had been broken. White was promptly removed from his vehicle and taken into custody. Following the incident, police obtained a search warrant for White’s house where they discovered, among other things, thousands of rounds of ammunition, a shotgun, a rifle and four handguns. In all he faces one count of Hate Crime (Class 3 Felony), one count of Criminal Damage to Property (Class 3 Felony), one count of Possession of a Firearm without a FOID Card (Class 3 Felony) and one count of Institutional Vandalism (Class 2 Felony). 

            “The charges against Mr. White are extremely serious,” Berlin said. “Hate crimes have a devastating effect not only on the victims themselves, but on the entire community. DuPage County is built on the strengths of our communities and an attack on a religious institution is considered an attack against the entire community. Any such attack based on hatred and prejudice will not be tolerated in DuPage County and will be met with the full force of the law. I would like to thank the Lombard Police Department for their quick response and apprehension of Mr. White as well as Assistant State’s Attorney Enza LaMonica for her efforts on this case.” 

            White’s next court appearance is scheduled for November 17, 2014, in front of Judge Bakalis. 

Members of the public are reminded that these complaints contain only charges and are not proof of the defendant’s guilt.  A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.