ANOTHER UPDATE: 16-Year-old Boy Arrested for Damaging Fountain at La Grange Village Hall

Village releases a statement today about the damage..

A 16-year-old La Grange boy has been arrested for damaging the fountain in front of La Grange Village Hall, 53 S. LaGrange Road, on Wednesday night.

The boy was charged with reckless conduct and criminal damage to state-supported property (funded full or partially by state or local government). He was charged as a juvenile.

Contrary to earlier reports, he was the only person involved in the damage, said La Grange police investigator Ken Uher.

The village of La Grange released a statement Friday:

The Village of La Grange is extremely disappointed to report that the fountain in downtown La Grange was severely damaged during the evening of July 25 by a reckless act. As a result of this unfortunate incident, the entire fountain was removed and will have to be replaced.

Downtown La Grange is a dynamic and popular destination, achieving recent accolades such as “Best Downtown” and “Top Transit-Friendly Suburb”. The Village takes great pride in offering residents and visitors a vibrant downtown area in which to shop, dine and relax.

As a reminder, thoughtful and respectful behavior by all is necessary in order to preserve the welcoming and enjoyable environment that continues to define the Village of La Grange.


The fountain in front of La Grange Village Hall, 53 S. LaGrange Rd., was damaged at about 11:20 p.m. July 25 by male teens, who pulled off the top portion.

The matter is under investigation, La Grange police investigator Ken Uher said the following morning. Police are working on leads and the amount of damage is unknown, he said.

The broken  fountain has been shut off and removed. The pedestal base and plumbing remain.

The fountain bowls were damaged and cannot be repaired, said Ryan Gillingham, director of public works, on Thursday morning. "It is unfortunate," he said about the damage.

The village is working with companies that can provide a new fountain to get an estimate of the cost of replacement, he said.

La Grange police had received a call at about 1:44 this morning of someone trying to take change out of the fountain. A police officer found a 22-year-old man with an "X-Men" button the officer previously saw in the water. The officer warned the man and sent him on his way.

About the pennies and other change that was in the fountain, he said the maintenance department routinely removes it and gives it to the village finance department, which puts it in a miscellaneous revenue fund. The change amounts to "a couple hundred dollars a year," he said.

Bruno Fontana July 26, 2012 at 05:05 PM
I know I'm going to get heck for this post from all the absentee parents who turn their kids loose on our town at night. I've broached this subject before: where are the police late at night when these kids, all jacked up on Starbucks are running around downtown? I have friends in neighboring communities who do not come to LG becuase of "the loud kids late at night". I've asked Ms. Asperger via email and have been told the police presence is adequate-it's apparently not. This is in no way disparaging our police force-they do a helluva job. This is a manpower issue. One cop from 8 until midnight in front of city call-I'm sure we can spare. I dont want to see the town turned into Bormont(from Footloose) but come on, enough is enough. Rather than be a hater - I'd apreciate some thoughtful responses instead.
Ken Manson July 26, 2012 at 05:22 PM
The police blotter consistently discusses officers showing away kids in the fountain, hanging around Village Hall, in front of Starbucks and skateboarding or hanging out in the parking garage at Sixth and Harris. You may not have seen them when you were out, but they are patrolling. Maybe call them when you see kids hanging out and they are noisy.
Bruno Fontana July 26, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Thanks Ken! Never a bad idea to be inovlved, your absolutely right.
Mike Muto July 26, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Anthony, You won't "Catch Heck" from the absentee parents. These are the same parents [sic] that come from Burr Ridge and Hinsdale to drop off their kids in La Grange and go on their merry way. They drop them off in La Grange because as one parent said they "feel safe leaving them in La Grange because La Grange is a safe town." You can put up surveillance cameras to monitor the fountain but someone in Dispatch would have to monitor it, taking them away from more important duties. Maybe you can post an Auxiliary Police Officer(s) overnight to monitor the fountain. The articles states that "..teenage boys were seen Wednesday night pulling off the top portion of the fountain." Was this called in as it was happening? Did the caller try to get descriptions and directions of travel? In this electronic world a cell phone video would have helped also. We all have to be more responsible for what goes on in the world around us. Like they say "If you see something, say something."
Sandra Beil July 26, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Don't they have a camera on that fountain? This is such a shame. My little girl goes there all the time with her daycare and we go there as a family on weekends some days. What jerks!!
Erik Bloecks July 26, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Parents aren't always absentee. The behavior I have witnessed while parents were present was shocking.
Girls' Mom July 27, 2012 at 02:04 AM
I am so sick of the roving bands of teens out in downtown LaGrange every single night. They cannot possibly all be neighborhood kids! They are rude and disrespectful not only toward adults out for the evening but also in our local businesses as well. They commandeer every inch of sidewalk, every available seat and are oblivious to common courtesy. Where are our local police when it's time to enforce curfew?!? We do have one and it's earlier that 11:15 pm!!
Someuselessresident July 27, 2012 at 08:20 AM
I cant believe you people are talking like this... at least theyre not there gang banging. "OMG there's kids hanging out past dark in downtown Lagrange!!!" The actions of a few are not of all. Kids will be kids and stuff like this happens. I'm mpre concerned about why the village is taking the coins in the fountain and pocketing it and not donating the money to a charity.
Janet Barrett July 27, 2012 at 02:06 PM
I like to see the kids out in the town, but there should be a sign on the fountain - no swimming.
Rebecca Cortez July 27, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Let's begin a discussion about a teen center, repete with food, games, music. A place where kids came come and go to be seen with their peers. A place where parents feel they are safe. A place that could generate revenue for the village.
Rebecca Cortez July 27, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Correction: "replete" with food, games, music.
christopher fister July 27, 2012 at 06:23 PM
lets wait until some really gets hurt and then do something!! Apathy runs wild in our lil village!
Louis Kensington July 27, 2012 at 06:24 PM
There was (or still is) such a place. The Corral at LT South. My kids -- now grown and gone -- and their friends never went there because it was "lame." Don't know if that's a commentary on The Corral or teens' unwillingness to go to a structured environment.
Megan July 27, 2012 at 06:32 PM
I agree! More than once I have been pushing my daughter in her stroller only to be run off the sidewalk by disrespectful teens. I have lived in 3 different locations in the past 5 years and the teens in La Grange are by far the worst! I don't know if it's due to a lack of teen oriented activities in the area or due to improper parenting but it's annoying.
Erik Bloecks July 27, 2012 at 10:49 PM
I bet when asked why he destroyed the fountain he would say " I don't know."
Tom July 28, 2012 at 02:01 AM
There are two types of people -- those that admit they did stupid things when they were 16 and those that evade the truth. I don't approve with what happened but it may not have been violent or premeditated -- just stupid. I do agree that we should be proactive, it probably is time for Ms. Asperger to go, and many parents need to own up to their responsibilities. Lastly, LG needs to replace the skate park that was in the YMCA or stop complaining about skateboarders on the public ways.
James h July 28, 2012 at 03:23 AM
Tom I agree, I am a 16 year old skateboarder and I do hang out downtown. I am constantly getting yelled at by police for just holding by board. I know how obnoxious skateboarders are and I know for a fact that a new skatepark will be beneficial for all LG residents. In fact the vacant YMCA lot is an ideal location for a temporary modular skatepark.
Ken Manson July 28, 2012 at 04:19 AM
I'm not sure what Village President Asperger had to do with the fountain being broken; did she miss her shift guarding it? Don't know what skateboarders had to do with it either. They do hang around the parking garage but should get their own skate park. Isn't that what a park district does?.
Ed July 28, 2012 at 01:27 PM
This is just part of the degeneration of our society. Parents don't do their jobs, and they expect governmental entities to raise them. They expect taxpayers to finance facilities for their entertainment. It's let everyone else do everything for the kids but the parents. Disgusting! We haven't been to downtown LG for years because of the roving bands of teens and we live here! The village lost control of their downtown area many years ago.
ShaniaP July 28, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Parents need to tell their kids that vandalism is never cool and make it very clear to them there will be consequences to their actions. I was a typical "good girl" and never got into trouble, but when I was 15 a friend challenged me to tear down a metal Dr. Pepper sign from the outer wall of a convenience store in Brookfield.. I accepted the challenge, not because I wanted to be a vandal or cause trouble but because I was stupid and didn't think of the consequences or the fact this it belonged to the store...not me. So I took it home and put it in my room. My parents were furious, took me to the store, made me go in, tell them what I had done and apoligize. They also made a deal with the store owner that I would come in and sweep the floors, stock shelves and other odd jobs until I had "paid off my debt." I never did anything that stupid again. I'm now 48 years old and still remember the lesson I learned that day.
Mouse July 28, 2012 at 09:18 PM
Until one of these little darlings does something to p!ss off the restaurant owners--who in turn own La Grange Village government--you'll continue to see this behavior go unabated and unpunished. The parents are inside drinking and spending cash while the kids are outside ripping apart downtown. But hey! Look at all these sales tax receipts! But since he was charged as a juvenile we all get to pay to replace this useless fountain instead of his negligent parents, and life in quaint, "safe" La Grange goes on as the Village tries to sweep it all under the rug via that laughable attempt at spin control. Finally, you want to see what is really wrong? The commenter more worried about what the Village does with the loose change chastising us for talking about the CRIMINAL who caused tens of thousands of dollars of damage is all you need to know. These are the parents who let their kids run wild.
No Duh July 29, 2012 at 03:00 AM
The daycare parents don't care and they never cared.
Andrea Watkins July 29, 2012 at 01:42 PM
LaGrange businesses have already been hurt by that monsterous parking garage that has turned into a skateboard and teen park! There have been at least 100 families that have vowed not to frequent LaGrange businesses once the parking garage was built. It is nothing but an omage to the LGBA. As predicted it is the primary structure mentioned every week in the police beat. It is used for everything except what it was intended for when it was built.
No Duh July 29, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Why not create no-loitering zones? Because then they would need more law enforcement. And then the Burr Ridge/Hinsdale parents would not patronize the restaurants.
Bruno Fontana July 30, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Nice job LGPD-an arrest was made! I'm also happy that I'm not the only one who feels this way about the growing trouble in town. It's not exactly Villiage of the Damned(an old sci fi movie where kids take over) but I'm a little tired of seeing these Bieber wannabes along with their over(or under)dressed paramores in their mall coture. Ken-true Ms Asperger should not be out patrolling but the buck has to stop somewhere. I encourage emailing her &/our Chief of Police Holub with your concerns. More importantly I encourage people to post the responses you get! As for a skatepark, being one who dabbled in the wheeled arts, it costs money, insurance is out of control, they say it attracts a bad element not to mention we still have the whole Gordon Park hangover(ie lawsuits). James, skateboarding is about finding new/challenging/sick spots to carve-that whole zone north east of town by the tracks (near Congress Park) has all kinds of rails & truck ramps. Not to mention the whole industrial vibe and I doubt anyone would mess with you. Check it out.
Rebecca Cortez July 30, 2012 at 02:31 PM
A skatepark would be a great addition for our young people. Lyons, Brookfield, Countryside, Elmhurst have them. Kids have a lot of energy! they need to use it up! The YMCA facility is sorely missed.
Rebecca Cortez July 30, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Brookfield has the Galloping Ghost Gaming business. What about something like that?
Tom July 31, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Do you know what they call a city without a skatepark? ... a skatepark!
Bruno Fontana July 31, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Genius Tom! Rebecca, the guy who own GGG should actually troll for business from the vagrant kids in town! It's not that far to walk...OR SKATEBOARD! (sorry Tom, just goofin). I dont know if you noticed....SInce last Friday there's a megga posting war going on over the "You didnt build that".
Mouse July 31, 2012 at 06:00 PM
I noticed it; the whole thing is laughable. You know what Mark Twain said about such things: "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience." The you didn't build that "discussion" has it in spades. So much for Patch's vaunted local focus. It is pushing everything else off the front page.


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