(CBS) -- Residents of the LaGrange Highlands area of unincorporated southwest Cook County will get a dedicated sheriff's police squad car while prosecutors try to determine if felony charges can be brought against a man who smashed the windows in 13 cars with a black metal pipe.
Cook County Sheriff's Police Cmdr. Terrence Tabb and Assistant State's Attorney Michael Deno told a group of more than 100 concerned parents and community residents that the misdemeanor property damage charges can be upgraded only in cases in which the damage amounted to more than $300 per car.
Tabb said he believed the damage will be such that prosecutors can return to Markham Court March 5 and upgrade the charges to felonies. Still, he warned, the charges will be such that Kirk Waishwell could be placed on probation if convicted.
Several parents asked if steps could be taken before the March 5 hearing to minimize the chances of additional problems.
A no-contact order bars Waishwell from the property of the Kensington Daycare Center, which abuts the back yard of Waishwell's family home, but Tabb said it does not cover the nearby Highlands Middle School.
Several parents said Waishwell has demonstrated increasingly violent behavior and said they wonder if their children will be safe until the hearing. Neighborhood watch captain Robert Trader said he would like to see a revised no-contact order that covers both schools and effectively forces Waishwell to move. Deno said that would be unlikely. He said a different standard applies than the one for convicted sex offenders, who by state law must not reside near schools or parks.
Police and parents said there have been several incidents since the pattern allegedly involving Waishwell began in October. Administrators have even placed the schools on lockdown merely because he was seen in the area.
Jennifer Hallett was one of several parents who said increasingly violent acting out is a hallmark of those who go on to deadly attacks on schools. She said county officials should intervene and obtain mental health treatment for Waishwell, whom Tabb described as an unemployed alcoholic.
One parent asked if Waishwell's family had any guns in the home. Tabb said no-warrant searches to which Waishwell's family agreed have turned up no weapons, and he said no one in the home has an FOID card. The parent said that was not enough to give him peace of mind, and Tabb said he would ask Waishwell's father again to allow police to search the home.
No one has been injured in any of the incidents to date, although one of the vehicles which Waishwell allegedly targeted last week had an adult and an infant inside.
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