UPDATED: 2 UI students face felony charges over menorah damage

UPDATED: 2 UI students face felony charges over menorah damage

URBANA — Two University of Illinois students were issued notices to appear in court Monday on felony charges in connection with the fourth incidence of vandalism to the menorah outside the Chabad Center for Jewish Life since 2015.

UI police spokesman Patrick Wade said the incident, in which one of the menorah's branches was broken off and taken, was caught on video.

"The branch was returned later that weekend, but it reportedly no longer works," Wade said.

Jacob R. Bassler and Nicholas R. Gustafson, who are both 18 and listed addresses in Champaign, were each cited on a preliminary charge of felony criminal damage to property after being interviewed by UI police.

Wade said the incident is being treated as a felony because it happened at a place of worship.

Wade said Bassler and Gustafson were also given summonses for theft for allegedly stealing a shopping cart from a nearby grocery store.

Wade said alcohol played a role in the crime, and there's no evidence that it was committed because of ill-will toward the Jewish faith.

Wade said the two suspects are cooperating. 

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Berto71 wrote on November 06, 2017 at 10:11 pm

Glad that they caught Beavis and Butt-Head. 

cjw61822@hotmail.com wrote on November 07, 2017 at 7:11 am

Maybe Jimmy can defend them... but in the mean time............ what do we have here.. some drunk college students damaging a menorah that has been damaged several times before by drunken college students.  NO RWNJ  as Jimmy ( before Saul ) would say.  No vast conspiracy.. just drunken college students who will have this charged reduced down  ( as with the softball player) to non supervised non felony probation.  In the mean time.. lots of folks blame peope for leaving their cars unlocked and then get burglarized.  Are these same folks going to wonder why the Menorah  ( which by the way didnt it have a go fund me page last time) will either have better protection  i.e. higher fence  or maybe be better constructed.



CallSaul wrote on November 07, 2017 at 11:11 am

And of course a RWNJ troll defends the vandals and plays down the fourth attack on the Jewish center's menorah and --- further still --- actually blames the victims for 'letting' it be destroyed.


He even mentions the GoFunMe page becasue...well...you know...

No big deal, right...?

And hey, it's their fault for letting it happen anyways, amirite...?

Exactly as expected...

A perfect representative of those who voted for and still enthusiastically support the racist nazi coddling Republican president...


rsp wrote on November 07, 2017 at 3:11 pm

I'm wondering how much money was raised to replace it. The first person paid over a grand in restitution that they said was going to a replacement. Community members donated towards a replacement. It was supposed to be sturdier so it would be unlikely to be damaged so easy.

The reason I bring it up is that this is the fourth incident and it's going on, what, two years? Do they need more money? What is the situation?

cjw61822@hotmail.com wrote on November 07, 2017 at 5:11 pm

Oh Jimmy you so funny


Remember all those folks who blamed the citizens of SW Champaign for the burglary to motor vehicles that were unlocked?  Were you one of the folks who blamed them?  Lots of people did.


Here is the update


They were drunk


this menorah has been damaged 4x in 2 years.   Should PERHAPS  they up grade the security?  Maybe... just like the people in SW Champaign should lock their doors... but.......... is it MY FAULT that someione burglarizes the car  that is unlocked ?  No.


Remember the soft ball player TOUCHED the menorah to get a light bulb and an branch fell off.... was that worth nearly 1000 dollars worth of restitution and yet 2 yrs later you can apparently rip the arms off with little or no effort.  When someone asks jeez............. how much did the go fund me page  ( which is a interesting concept as to why the synagogue didnt pay for the fund raising with in their congregation)   raise and where did the money go................ you ask for donations from the public.. the public has a right to see where the money went.......... correct?


In the mean time ....... you tend to see evil in every criminal damage done where you somehow believe that the President is involved.


Here is a clue Jimmy.


They are 18.


They could not have voted for the President since his election was a year ago.


Now go back to your safe room  SJW  as you bemoan the fact that Hillary lost the election a year ago..............................