Swastikas found painted on Elmhurst church; Wheeling man charged with alleged hate crime

Joseph Stumpfoll

Last week, DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin and Elmhurst Chief of Police Michael McLean announced that bond has been set for a Wheeling man charged with painting multiple swastikas on an Elmhurst church.

    Josef Stumpfoll, 35, appeared in bond court where Judge Robert Miller set bond at $100,000 with 10 percent to apply. Stumpfoll has been charged with one count of a hate crime (Class 3 felony) and one count of institutional vandalism—church (Class 3 felony).

            It is alleged that on Friday, Dec. 30, at approximately 12 midnight, Stumpfoll went to the Pathway Community Church, located at 586 N. Michigan in Elmhurst, painted seven swastikas on the church windows and then fled the scene. An investigation conducted by the Elmhurst Police Department led to Stumpfoll, who was taken into custody without incident from his home in Wheeling.

    “Hate crimes have no place in a civilized society,” Berlin said. “The allegations against Mr. Stumpfoll are very disturbing and in DuPage County we have no tolerance whatsoever for such actions.

    “I commend the Elmhurst Police Department for their quick identification and apprehension of the defendant in this case.”

    “It is alleged Mr. Stumpfoll was a prior member and specifically targeted this church,” McLean said. “Hate crimes are not tolerated in our community and I thank the investigating officers and detectives for their work to swiftly apprehend Mr. Stumpfoll. I also wish to thank State’s Attorney Bob Berlin and his office for their work on this case.”

    Stumpfoll’s next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 30 for arraignment in front of Judge Ann Celine O’Hallaren Walsh.