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Local

11 charged with felonies in connection with Aurora protest mayhem

McMahon: 'All are opportunistic criminals'

A police squad car burns in downtown Aurora during a riot Sunday evening, May 31.
A police squad car burns in downtown Aurora during a riot Sunday evening, May 31.

ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – A 19-year old Boulder Hill teen was charged with felony arson in connection with setting an Elgin police car on fire, one of 11 people facing felony charges for their alleged criminal conduct in Kane County during demonstrations in Aurora related to the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn., according to a news release from Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon.

“All are opportunistic criminals who sought to steal the spotlight away from those who were demonstrating, whether by looting, engaging in violent conduct or putting someone's life and safety at risk," McMahon stated in the release.

Vianney Huerta, 19, of the 1-99 block of Hampton Road, Boulder Hill, who was charged with arson and criminal damage to government supported property.

Prosecutors alleged that she started a fire inside an Elgin police car parked in a lot on East New York Street in Aurora while several Elgin officers were assisting with crowd control during a demonstration.

She is scheduled to appear in court June 10.

Four were charged with burglary and retail theft in connection with causing damage while breaking into a Walmart store at 2900 Kirk Road, Aurora, and stealing more than $300 worth of merchandise early on June 1.

Also charged were:

• Patricia M. Spangler-Hughes, 20 of the 100 block of Evans Avenue, Aurora, who is scheduled to appear in Court Sept. 9.

• Erica M. Higgins, 34, of the 800 block of Douglas Avenue, Aurora, who is scheduled to appear in court Aug. 20.

• Frankie Higgins, 35, of the 800 block of Douglas Avenue, Aurora, who is scheduled to appear in court Aug. 20.

• Isiah Stephenson, 29, of the 1300 block of Croton Court, Aurora, who is scheduled to appear in court Aug. 20.

Also charged was Precious F. Henderson, 21, of the 700 block of George Avenue, Aurora, with burglary, and retail theft.

Prosecutors alleged that on the evening of May 31, Henderson entered a business in the 1-99 block of Root Street, Aurora, that had been broken into. She was in possession of Xanax without a prescription. She is scheduled to appear in court Aug. 17.

Also charged was Dionjray M. Davis, 36, of the 200 block of Blackhawk Avenue, Aurora, with theft between $500 and $10,000 and aggravated fleeing and eluding.

Prosecutors allege that on the morning of June 1, Davis stole between $500 and $10,000 worth of merchandise from the Walmart store at 2900 Kirk Road, Aurora.

When police arrived, Davis fled and led officers on a chase, exceeding the speed limit by more than 21 mph, disobeying at least 2 traffic signals and causing a traffic crash, which caused more than $300 in damage. His next court appearance is set for Sept. 9.

Sean M. Painter, 28, of the 200 block of Washington Square, Elk Grove Village, was charged with aggravated battery to a peace officer and aggravated battery.

Prosecutors allege that early the morning of June 1, in downtown Aurora, Painter tried to prevent an Aurora police officer from taking a suspect into custody. His next court appearance is set for Aug. 19

Austin C. Hoening, 24, of the 1700 block of Emerald Bay, Palatine, was charged with aggravated battery to a peace officer, aggravated battery and possession of a controlled substance.

Prosecutors allege that early the morning of June 1, in downtown Aurora, Hoening tried to prevent an Aurora police officer from taking a suspect into custody, and he was in possession of Xanax without a prescription and 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine – also known as MDMA. His next court appearance is set for Aug. 19.

Two of those charged, Jeffrie M.L. Highsmith and Keanu M. Stewart, are both wanted on arrest warrants, according to the release.

Highsmith, 27, of the 300 block of Evans Avenue, Aurora, was charged with armed violence, criminal damage to government supported property and aggravated assault of a peace officer.

Prosecutors alleged that during the demonstration in downtown Aurora the night of May 31, Highsmith stole a flare and baton from an unoccupied police vehicle and threw a large rock at police officers before he fled on foot.

Stewart, 27, of the 100 block of Trask Street, Aurora was charged with aggravated assault.

Prosecutors allege that on the evening of June 2, Stewart drove his vehicle directly at multiple police officers who were blocking a roadway. No one was injured.

"I respect the fact that people across this nation are angry and frustrated about the ongoing lack of attention to issues of inequality, racism and the maltreatment of African-Americans,” McMahon stated in the news release.

“I agree that we should be much farther down the road toward a more equal and just society. I, too, am disgusted at the actions of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and the three Minneapolis officers who watched him kill Mr. Floyd. Our nation was founded on protest and I expect that the protests will continue until we see meaningful change,” McMahon stated in the release.

"However, the individuals named in this statement were more interested in mayhem. Some of these defendants are from outside the communities they vandalized and some are alleged street gang members,” McMahon stated in the release.

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