News Flash

News & Press Releases

Posted on: July 23, 2020

Wheaton Man Accused of Defacing Government Property/Church with Homophobic Slurs

police general photo

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin and Wheaton Chief of Police Bill Murphy announced today that a Wheaton man has been charged with defacing government-owned property and a Wheaton church with homophobic slurs. Joe Fustar, 60 (d.o.b. 9/8/1959) of 129 N. Hale appeared in Bond Court this morning where Judge Maureen Dunsing released Fustar on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond. Fustar has been charged with two counts of Criminal Damage to Government Supported Property and one count of Criminal Damage to Property – School or Place of Worship. All charges are Class 4 Felonies.

Fustar

Joe Fustar
60 years old
Wheaton

It is alleged that at approximately 9 a.m., on July 20, 2020, Fustar wrote a homophobic slur with a permanent marker on the door of the Gary United Methodist Church as well as on a stone bench located outside the church. It is alleged that the same morning, Fustar wrote the same homophobic slur with a permanent marker on the interior of the elevator doors at the City of Wheaton Parking Garage on Wesley Street. It is further alleged that at approximately 7 p.m. the same day, Fustar again wrote the same homophobic slur with a permanent marker on more than ten park benches at Adams Park on Wesley Street. An investigation into the graffiti conducted by the Wheaton Police Department led to Fustar.

“Defacing government-owned property as well as a church with crude, divisive language, as alleged in this case, will not be tolerated not only by my office but by the residents of Wheaton,” Berlin said. “I commend the Wheaton Police Department for their efforts in quickly identifying Mr. Fustar as a suspect in this case. I would also like to thank Assistant State’s Attorney Anthony Pasquini for his work in securing charges against Mr. Fustar.”

"The City of Wheaton is a welcoming, inclusive community with no tolerance for this type of hate speech,” Murphy said. “Our police officers and detectives worked swiftly to put an end to these offensive homophobic rants. We appreciate the assistance of State’s Attorney Bob Berlin’s staff in bringing serious felony charges against Mr. Fustar for his alleged actions."

Fustar’s next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 17, 2020 for arraignment in front of Judge Ann Celine O. Walsh.

Note: Members of the public are reminded that this complaint contains only charges and is not proof of the defendant’s guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.