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One Deerfield Parent’s Reactions to the Home Invasion

The emotions I have felt since hearing that two Deerfield teens were arrested for a Highland Park home invasion have ranged from fear and shock to anger and sadness.

A flood of emotions has overcome me in the last few days surrounding . Operating under the assumption that the police arrested the right suspects, I also have a lot of questions; too many questions that I clearly do not and likely will not ever have the answers to.

FEAR. When I first read about the burglary, then the gun, then the apprehension of suspects, I was scared. Scared for what had occurred. The intruders who were allegedly trying to escape genuinely upset at the entire situation.

SHOCK. Then, finding out that the two Deerfield teens were arrested for the burglary and that police said they, I was in complete shock. The questions bounced around in my head: Why did this happen? Why would they do this? Where did they get a gun? What led to this?

ANGER. My questions led me to start thinking through the situation even further which made me angry. What if the police had not found the gun and a child playing in the park had found it? What if instead of dropping the gun in the park the accused were carrying it with them while they ran and saw a resident jogging in the park? What would have happened then? What kind of situation could have allegedly caused these teens to make such bad decisions?

SADNESS. As I thought through those scenarios, I became sad. Sad for the victims, the neighborhood and our community. Sad that we are in a situation such as this, even though we are so fortunate that no one was physically hurt.

I became sad for the families and friends of the teens accused of this crime. I cannot imagine what they have been going through the last few days and what they have in store for them over the next few months. I do not know these families but I know the road ahead of them will not be an easy one.

Finally, I am sad for the accused teens. They are being tried as adults, but they are still kids. Kids make bad choices — we all have at one time or another. Not to the extreme being outlined in this case, but bad choices nonetheless. I am sad that these boys may have thought this was an answer to whatever issue was occurring. 

LINGERING QUESTIONS. For now, there remain too many questions unanswered. And a few questions I am certain many families want to know. Will these boys be allowed back at when school resumes in a few weeks? Will we find out where the gun came from and what these teens were allegedly hoping to accomplish by this act?

Time will tell.

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joel steiner August 21, 2012 at 06:45 PM
I must agree with David G. I am really appalled by the comments that equate these 3 felonies with traffic offenses. Not even close! Drunk driving is illegal only because the legislature says so. Armed robbery has always been illegal. There was a level of thought and planning involved (even if bad planning) that marks the difference in these acts. Perhaps if there had been hard consequences for the prior bad acts these 2 boys were guilty of, the current events would not have occurred. In any event, if proven guilty of these serious crimes, prison is appropriate. It is too bad that these lives are ruined/wasted. However, if past performance is any guide, to let these boys off now will not result in a saving turn around in their behavior. Rather, it will only reinforce the belief that they can do as they please without consequences. Next time they will kill someone and the same nonsense about their wonderful parents, etc. will be forth coming. Armed home invaders deserve to go to prison, no matter what.
dad August 21, 2012 at 09:01 PM
All hearsay....it's easy to see this is a drug deal gone bad.....the house that ONE of the boys was in; was selling drugs....this will all come out in trial...but to say these boys have a checkered past.....hahahahaha....no claims have been made to this on any police public blotter or school public record.....hearsay again....the boys do not have any such police record or have been found guilty of any such crimes as you mentioned Joel S.....my money is on a light verdict...my best guess was a “Big FU....get out of my house or I will call the police” was said....my best guess Jake L.....screwed over one of these boys....my best guess is an unloaded gun was taken to intimidate...my best guess is.....Jake is in a whole lotta trouble for selling dope...Joe M is in trouble for being in a residence he was not invited into....and Josh N is home free on any serious charges. I chalk this up to a media frenzy on the Deerfield Patch of a half assed story....early to jump the gun on a story......all media parties guilty of never having children of their own and not thinking of what this all sounds like from a parents perspective.....you all sound very foolish on sending 17 year old boys to jail on a blown out story in Pleasantville USA.
forest barbieri August 21, 2012 at 09:21 PM
While it is true that all of the facts are not on the table and indeed all parties are innocent until proven guilty, the Police Reports indicated an unauthorized home invasion that likely included a weapon. Now if the weapon was intended to scare someone, no doubt it would. So much so, that if there was access to another gun, someone could have been seriously harmed and the alternative of prison might have been a much better option than other potential consequences. This cannot be taken lightly as an everyday occurances or just kids being kids. So, we will all have to wait and see what transpires with the investigation and trial. If anyone is innocent then that person(s) should indeed walk free and have this put behind them without predudice. If however, where there is smoke there is fire and indeed an armed entry was committed for any reason, by anyone....then there are serious consequences that cannot be simply and blindly ignored. I also think this is two seperate cases, one involving the entry regardless of the reason and one for possession and possible dealing.
dad August 21, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Forest....TOTALLY AGREE! What was done was so stupid by all 3 youths! These Scarface like actions will be handled by the law. It's a shame what has happened to our community...these families for for these 3 brats to have done such a heinous crime to one another's lives. Josh was a champion goalie at DHS and was a decent student....I don't know the other 2 involved as well as I know him; but my children said this was eventually gonna happen to these boys. It's a shame because Josh has some of the nicest loving parents...I totally agree that many times we are not firm enough on our children...I was and even though I physically knocked my son of this dangerous path...he is still angy with me today for my response to dope...school and his life....these kids do not understand the meaning of Reefer Madness...I see it everyday...I know the fear some parents may have to challenge their kids....the fear of suicide, cutting, kids really gone mad with guns.....etc...etc...etc. I really do not believe thse boys had it in them to go into a house and try and rob it....I questioned right away about this...the kids I know all told me that was a drug house...it was easy to put 2 and 2 together and figure out what really happened....right now this is a he said...and he said situation....the papers made it sound so random at first..I even doubt it was a surpirse to the parents that this boy was in the house...I think mommy or daddy walked in on a drug deal and got pissed off!!!
David Greenberg August 21, 2012 at 10:53 PM
"no claims have been made to this on any police public blotter or school public record....." - nor would there be if they were charged as Juveniles by the Police, nor would there be any "school public record" due to Federal student privacy laws. As for an "unloaded gun to intimidate" - that doesn't matter. The victim it's pointed at doesn't know if it's loaded or unloaded. And for the record - I do have kids of my own.
David Greenberg August 21, 2012 at 10:59 PM
The meaning of "Reefer Madness" is entirely that of propaganda intended to convince people that blacks smoking pot (reefer) would go insane and attack white women and is so far from the truth that it's comical. The whole reason for the propaganda campaign was to protect commercial wood pulp and cotton interests from hemp because hemp can be used to make paper, and clothing which is more durable than cotton. Now that said, persons under 18 shouldn't be smoking pot, drinking, or indeed using any drugs other than those prescribed for them. HOWEVER, it does and will happen and we have to deal with it by telling them the truth about the consequences of their actions. And not some BS "Reefer Madness" or "Genetic Mutation!" that kids see right through, but rather what the consequences of impaired judgment can be - in relationships, operating machinery, driving, etc.
STOPTHEBASHING August 22, 2012 at 08:12 PM
WHY? are all you PATHETIC people leaving comments. Concerned citizens? PLEASE. Nobody in HP or DF have exciting life. HP and DF is the mecca of drama and opinions. I am the closes person leaving a comment on this situation and if circumstance were different. I would have been in that home the morning of the robbery. To the teens who rob that home..YOUR LUCKY I WASNT THERE THAT MORNING, CAUSE IF I WAS, I WOULD HAVE ATTACK YOU AND GOTTEN YOUR GUN, HOG TIED YOU AND THEM CALLED THE COPS. or I would have gotten shot and YOU PATHETIC teens would have been up on murder or attempt murder charges. Believe me the people reading this comment. If you can figure out who this is. Know that I wouldn't back down from two pathetic teens with guns. I have to much PRIDE for that. I would rather be shot. Plus then the pathetic DF teens, would be big bubbas, GF in prison for at least 15-20 years.
Lou August 28, 2012 at 11:40 AM
Joel, traffic offenses lead to deaths and injuries daily in America. And they often are a chosen behavior such as speeding, drunk and drugged driving. These stupid kids also allegedly made a stupid decision to enter and use a weapon. But no one pulled a trigger and no one got hurt, just like the last time many of us exceeded the speed limit, ran a stop sign or drove after drinking enough to make us groggy. We made stupid decisions also, but we do not believe we would spend time in jail, am I correct? Stupidity is all around us and within us, but the good thing is, sometimes it makes us smarter later.
forest barbieri August 28, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Lou: Re your comments: "These stupid kids also allegedly made a stupid decision to enter and use a weapon. But no one pulled a trigger and no one got hurt" Really? So that makes it a minor, little slap on the wrist, oh you goofy guys thing? Next time someone enters your home with a weapon be sure to high five them.
David Greenberg August 28, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Lou - if you were going 40+ mph over the limit, yoou'd likely be going to jail under today's statutes. If you were speeding 30+mph and caused or were directly involved in an accident, you'd probably go to jail. If someone died, you'd go to jail. If you went thru a stop sign and someone died, you'd go to jail. If someone drove intoxicated (over the limit), then they're going to jail. If the speeding wasn't too much (< 40MPH over), they'll get a ticket if no accident or other circumstances existed to warrant jail. If someone went thru a stop sign and didn't cause an accident/death, sure - you get a ticket and don't go to jail. If you drive a little intoxicated and you're under the limit - you don't go to jail. But in the case of a home invasion - the law considers it such a heinous event that there's no wiggle room for the Judge - minimum 6 yrs, max 30 yrs. Add in a firearm - and the sentence is rightly enhanced because the victim(s) don't know if the firearm is loaded or not. A shot might not be fired from an unloaded firearm, but the victim(s) could have a heart attack, fall and die while attempting to flee, etc., etc. This wasn't "oops, went thru a stop sign while speeding and no one got hurt so no foul" stupid - this was "hey, let's steal a shotgun, then go rob a house with it" stupid - and they are two completely different animals. One gets a ticket, maybe traffic school. One goes to jail, and goes to Criminal U for 6-12 yrs instead of U of I.
dad August 29, 2012 at 12:41 AM
Did they really break in? Did they really have a loaded gun? What did Josh do? What did Joe do? All we know for sure is that Jake had dope and money in a safe and was a known drug dealer....these are the only facts of this case beacuse the police caught him red handed....but the words thrown at Joe and Josh are all hearsay.....did anyone stop and think....did Jake screw Joe anbd Josh out of money and the boys were going there to pick up their money or dope....and possibly Josh called the police.....are there really moms and dads home at 7:30 anymore...I am not...I am on the train heading downtown for work each day....what is Jake told Joe...get out of my house or I will call the poilce????....Again....the only real fact of this case was Jake had dope and cash in a safe in his bedroom.....the rest is media hype!!!! So far I see the states attorney threw a bunch of nonsense claims at these boys all built on hearsay.....
forest barbieri August 29, 2012 at 12:55 AM
Where is Perry Mason or MacGyver when we need them?
David Greenberg August 29, 2012 at 01:01 AM
"did Jake screw Joe anbd Josh out of money and the boys were going there to pick up their money or dope" - who cares why they went there. All that matters is that they went there without permission, and brought a gun with. So instead of showing up, knocking on the door and trying to figure out what's arguably a business transaction (albeit an illegal one), they turned it into felony home invasion with a firearm. There were at least three ways to handle this besides what they did: 1) Forget the whole thing. Engage in an illegal transaction, so don't be surprised when the other party doesn't hold up their end of the bargain and rips you off. From what I understand, there's no insurance either (well, not on the traditional market, I don't know about the black market - but even if there were, that's a whole other risk). 2) Call your parents - hey Mom, so-and-so promised to sell me an "ummm, Xbox" and then didn't! He took the money and didn't give me the game... Yeah, that's it, that's the ticket! 3) File a civil suit in small claims court. Sure, it'd be comical. Sure it'd likely get thrown out. Sure, the morons would probably get arrested for suing over a drug deal, but hey - it might be something in the misdemeanor range, instead of, oh, I don't know - a Class X felony with mandatory minimums? Just about anything but breaking into a house, and using a firearm is better than what the young men came up with in this case.
David Greenberg August 29, 2012 at 01:12 AM
MacGyver would have brought a potato gun, which despite the name, isn't considered a firearm by ATF, so he'd have probably skated on the firearm charge, but gotten busted on the home invasion thing - well, unless his pal Pete could get him out of the jam... Perry Mason would have gotten into an argument with Ironsides, and then called up Kojak to investigate. In the meantime, because it's Highland Park, Andy Griffith would have moseyed on up, talked with everyone, thrown Otis in jail for a night when he was floating around trying to steal the alcohol/weed the kids were dealing, and turned everyone's life's around before heading on over to Aunt Bee's for some apple pie... mmmmm... pie... (uggh, I'm showing my age, aren't I?)
Lou August 29, 2012 at 12:02 PM
Joel, you have admitted threatening other people's lives: DUI and speeding. You never killed anyone I hope, neither have these kids. But, if you had been caught at DUI or speeding (you probably have been stopped more than once), you could have gone to jail. Odds are you did not. You got a break. At 17, I would imagine there is a good chance for rehabilitation. Why not give these three the same sentence you received and another chance.
joel steiner August 29, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Lou, I have not admitted to any of the acts that you attribute to me. Time to stop personally attacking someone you disagree with. That is usually the first sign of the lack of merit to someone's argument, that and you're hiding without disclosing your whole name. 1. In the 60's the traffic violations did not carry the same moral approbation they do today. That's why drunk driving and highway deaths have steadily decreased. 2. Even in the 60's (and always for that matter) braking into someone's house, especially with a weapon (knife, club, sword or gun) was always a serious crime (in earlier times a capital offense. 3. Even as a teenager I appreciated the extreme difference between driving offenses and home invasion, with or w/o a deadly weapon (stolen weapon). There is something seriously wrong with your moral compass if you truly believe that the behavior of these teens is the equivalent of nothing more than major traffic offenses. How dare you equate my teenage indiscretions with the crimes of these boys. My parents raised better than that. Apologists like you are the reason that the lack of early consequences lead to more serious criminal acts like these 2 are alleged to have committed.
Lou September 02, 2012 at 02:43 PM
"I have, in my youth, driven drunk. I have exceeded the speed limit, even recently". Joel, these are your words, not mine. I am not equating home invasion to traffic law violations, however, both can and do result in death. I'm sure if you were stopped by the police, you would not want to go to jail for speeding, but you could under Illinois Law. You would want a deal. These 17 year olds do not have the neuronal capacity to imagine and appreciate the consequences of their acts, they deserve a deal also for their alleged first time non death causing felony. Prison will nothing for them except make them angry and vengeance prone. Better, society needs to use methods that will move to prevent future crimes not ones that make our society more dangerous.
Queen 8 September 08, 2012 at 08:24 PM
These so called kids need to have consequences for their actions, because thanks to easy punishments their crimes become bigger like Carly Rousso killing Jaquelin Santos In Hp.
Molly September 09, 2012 at 12:44 PM
Queen 8, what consequences do you have in mind that would eradicate any future problems? When does this start? At what severity? I am not excusing any law breaker or misbehavior, but I have witnessed parents who have tried just about everything and bad things still happen. My own child has brought home friends that judging by their appearance I would have forbidden her from associating with, only to find out the clean cut, athletic AP student is the one who parties every weekend. Keep an open mind and try to help those parents and kids who need help, sometimes it's just a non-parent that the kid can talk to (who doesn't let them get away with stuff but will accept their good side). I would think that the boys involved in the break-in and the teen driver will all face stiff penalties, certainly jail time.
HP Mom September 09, 2012 at 12:50 PM
I agree. What is going on in HP & DF with these 17 & 18 year olds??? Parents: get more involved! Read your kids' Twitter & Facebook pages. Know their friends. TALK TO THEM!
Molly September 09, 2012 at 01:07 PM
The talk needs to start at age 8! There are so many parents I run across who can't believe that there could be drugs, alcohol, cutting, stealing, sex, etc. in a great place like HP or DF. Hello??? Where did these parents grow up themselves to be this naive?
Curious Resident September 09, 2012 at 01:22 PM
I was wondering if anyone would comment between these 17 year old adults and the 18 year old adult that KILLED a 5 year old girl and injured the rest of the family! Some people in articles regarding her have posted past tweets from her twitter account and have noted that this is not her first time in trouble! What is going on here?!?! Are we as community members missing something or are we turning our backs turning a blind eye and ignoring the signs!?!? All these "adults" have had to be screaming in some way for help! Apparently, to me the teachers in the community are not abt enough to recognize problems, and as community members we truly are missing stuff too! Once again...I am sure there is more to both situations...the "adult" boys go to court tomorrow, hopefully we will learn more and learn from what happened...as for the "adult" girl, I seriously hope that her charges are raised, because killing someone while intoxicated is far more severe than the charges against her. She too needs some major help and because it is a well known family in the community, she should not get off easier! Keep talking and keep listening....they are in high school but they talk even when they think we are not listening!
Take the High Road Please September 09, 2012 at 04:26 PM
I will comment on the 18 year old kid who killed the 5 year old. She is a sweet kid that sadly made bad choices. We do not know at this juncture what the intoxicating substance is and in fact could be meds prescribed by a doctor. I would ask the community realize that one is innocent until proven guilty. As for the parents of these children, I am positive in Carly's case she has good parents. I know both of them and they have tried to help Carly. One has to realize that a child sometimes has a bend that no matter what "morale" training you give them will gravitate to the wrong things. I think as long as it is OPK (Other people's kids) all of you are so quick to judge - what if it was YOUR kid? then what? Only you as a parent of each child mentioned above knows the situation and can judge. The rest of you need to take a chill pill and let the authorities deal with the situation.
Molly September 09, 2012 at 04:32 PM
In my experience both personally and from observing others there are people who turn a blind eye by ignoring or shunning those who are thought to be "bad kids" with the hope that if they forbid their kids from seeing these bad kids their kids will be fine. Then there are those who tell the " bad" parents to do this or that and the problem is solved (never so easy as that). And in regards to our local teachers I think that the majority have a pretty good read on our kids but it's pretty tricky for teachers to tell some parents that something is not right. No easy answers unfortunately.
Molly September 09, 2012 at 06:06 PM
I would agree 100 percent with Take The High Road...I hope none of my comments made you think I was judging any of the kids or parents involved. As in many situations we, the public, will not be told every detail (nor do we need to be) of what has happened. We should allow the families & authorities work through this w/o our interference but I will use this as I reminder to talk to my kids & their friends as much as possible.
David Greenberg September 09, 2012 at 06:20 PM
I too agree with Take the High Road. However, I disagree with Molly in some regard - where she says that "We, the public, will not be told every detail (nor do we need to be) of what has happened.", short of a present-day classified operation involving National Security (where we get the info 50 yrs later), yes - we do need to be told all of the details. And it's not to be 'nosy', but rather to do our job as the Public is the one to "Watch the Watchers." How can you know that the accused is getting a fair trial without the details? How can you know that the victim is likewise having their rights protected without the details? How can you know that your tax dollars are being properly spent w/o the details? As has been said, sunlight is the best disinfectant - and in this case, sunlight is the details.
David Greenberg September 09, 2012 at 06:29 PM
I'd hazard a guess that what's going on with 17 & 18 yr olds is what's always gone on for as long as we can remember. Old kids/young adults starting out on the path to adulthood who think they know it all, don't realize they don't know it all, and who make mistakes that they sometimes look back on as adults and say "Wow, we were such idiots. I can't believe we did that." Now that said, there's mistakes (such as buying a car that looked great but ran like a tank) which you survive, and there's mistakes (such as the most recent stories we've been talking about) that impact one's lives for a very long time, possibly forever. You can try to be involved, you can try to read their Twitter and Facebook pages. You can try to talk to their friends. But you have to realize that talking relies on trust. And if your kids are lying to you and doing a good job of concealing the truth on their Twitter/FB pages, you may not know what's actually going on. That's why I believe it's important to tell your kids the truth about life when they're 15, 16, 17, 18. If you did some crazy stuff - discuss it with your kids. Own up to it - explain how you've thought about it over the years and why it was wrong, and what could have happened. Talk to them about consequences - stuff you get away with as a kid, and how it's handled as an adult. But also realize that no matter how much you say, or try to do, they may just have to experience somethings for themselves before it sinks in.
Molly September 10, 2012 at 01:06 AM
David...I was thinking of the personal details of what any family may or may not have done over the past 18 years, not the legal process.
Madukes September 14, 2012 at 07:37 AM
@dad, it's become way scarier than Reefer Madness. Heroin is cheap and available and being brought into our neighborhoods and schools. 100% addictive. Heroin addicts will do ANYTHING for money for the next fix. It's almost as accurate to say it's to avoid the excruciating "sick" they get if the next dose is delayed as for the mellow they get when injected.
Benny G. October 03, 2012 at 08:29 AM
There is only one guaranty in all this ridiculous nonsense: This incident has been blown WAY out of proportion as it relates to what happened and the motive of these young white suburban criminals.... LMAO... What a colossal joke this all is. Carry on with it---

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