CRIME ROUNDUP: A look at Decatur-area crime and public safety news

CRIME ROUNDUP: A look at Decatur-area crime and public safety news

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Sugar attack sends Decatur man to hospital, police say

DECATUR — A Decatur man told police he needed hospital treatment after his ex-roommate threw sugar into his eye during a dispute after the roommate came back to pick up his belongings.

A sworn statement from Decatur police quotes the 49-year-old victim as saying he was attacked Saturday afternoon at an address on West Burtschi Court. He told police he had the 25-year-old former roommate’s things waiting in the dining room but the man wanted to enter the bedrooms, and shoved the older man out of the way.

The statement said he then kept on walking around the home, followed by the victim, who was “continuously telling him to get out of the house.” When they got to the kitchen the ex-roommate opened the freezer — where the sugar was kept — and threw it into the other man’s face before walking out and leaving most of his belongings behind.

“(The victim) said it caused him discomfort ... he said his left eye continuously got worse over time,” according to the affidavit. “He said he went to Decatur Memorial Hospital for treatment Sunday morning due to his left eye swelling shut, causing him pain and causing him not to be able to see out of it.”

The affidavit said the man was still wearing his hospital bracelet when police interviewed him and his left eye was bloodshot.

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Officers found and arrested the ex-roommate Wednesday morning and he was booked on a preliminary charge of domestic battery. Macon County Jail records show the man remained in custody Thursday night in lieu of posting bail set at $5,000.

— Tony Reid

Police: Decatur restaurant burglar tracked with technology on devices he stole

DECATUR — Police report that a fired restaurant worker who stole from his former employers was soon apprehended thanks to electronic surveillance and tracking technology.

A sworn statement said the 31-year-old male worker, dismissed two weeks ago from D-Boes Chicken & Waffles for “lack of performance,” entered the business early Thursday using a key he had retained. He stole nearly $700 in cash along with an $800 Apple iPad, Amazon Fire tablet and eight cans of Pepsi.

Writing in the affidavit, Decatur police Officer Adam Siefman said the business owners received a phone alert at 12:21 a.m. Thursday warning the restaurant’s alarm had been disabled.

The owners reviewed video surveillance footage and said they could easily recognize the fired worker “by the way he looked and the way he walked.” The owners then turned on a tracking application which eventually led police to find the iPad and Amazon tablet dumped in a garbage can two doors away from the home of the ex-employee on East William Street.

Siefman said police confronted the man within a few hours of the burglary and he denied any involvement. “While at (the man’s home) I observed an open blue Pepsi 12-ounce can on a table in the living room,” the drink matching those that had been stolen, Siefman said. “(The man) was also wearing dark grey thin pants that matched the ones seen in the video during the burglary.”

The man was under arrest by 3:50 a.m. and booked on a preliminary charge of burglary. Preliminary charges are subject to review by the state attorney’s office. Macon County Jail records show he remained in custody Thursday night in lieu of posting bond set at $10,000. Prosecutors had asked for $30,000.

If the man makes bail, he is ordered to stay away from D-Boes Chicken & Waffles.

A spokesman for the restaurant could not be reached for comment Thursday.

— Tony Reid

Court battle looms over seized phone data in Decatur sex crime case​

DECATUR — Court arguments will decide whether potentially crucial evidence of sex crimes against a teenage girl — extracted from cell phone data — can be used to try to convict a former Decatur high school basketball coach.

At issue is whether detectives legally seized Dylan W. Nunn’s phone when he voluntarily came to Decatur police headquarters for an interview on March 28, 2018. The former freshman girls’ coach at Eisenhower High School, who also worked as a school security guard, was later charged with two counts of indecent solicitation of a female student.

Nunn, 28, was also charged with two counts of grooming: using electronic communications to seduce a child into committing sex acts. The case was set for jury trial before Macon County Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Geisler on Sept. 24, but the date was vacated.

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The motion to suppress is now scheduled to be heard by Geisler on Dec. 6, but papers filed with the court already outline the arguments of defense attorney Todd Ringel. He insists Detective Chris Hale should not have grabbed the phone out of Nunn’s car without obtaining a search warrant first.

Ringel said Nunn had earlier refused repeated requests to search his phone while Hale was questioning him. It was after he was placed under arrest that the detective went out to Nunn’s car and took the phone. He was granted a warrant to search it the next day and Ringel said “alleged incriminating evidence” was downloaded from it.

Ringel said the seizure of the phone was illegal and that means all information flowing from it is “fruit of the poisonous tree” and forbidden.

Firing back, Macon County State’s Attorney Jay Scott and Assistant State’s Attorney Kate Kurtz counterclaim in filed papers that Hale, who will testify at the motion hearing, had probable cause to take the phone. They further state the phone had to be safely secured and placed in a “faraday cage” which protected it from being remote-accessed electronically so its data could not be “wiped or deleted.”

Their fallback argument is that even if the court finds the phone was seized illegally, the circumstances of the case are such its data would have been inevitably discovered by police.

In a separate motion hearing on Tuesday, Ringel was successful in arguing for another bond modification for Nunn, who has been free after an April 24 hearing that saw his bond lowered from $100,000 to $60,000.

Tuesday’s bond modification will allow him to attend a teenage female relative’s high school basketball games and the games of several younger children of a woman he knows. But Kurtz argued, and the judge agreed, that Nunn must skip any high school games between the two Decatur high schools and any tournament games involving both schools to avoid any chance he might encounter the alleged victim.

Nunn is also still subject to a general bail condition that orders him not to have contact with anyone under the age of 18.

— Tony Reid

2019 mug shots from the Herald & Review


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