On Monday, Sept. 7, while on duty, Patrolman Abel of the Ravenswood Police Department received a call from the E-911 center in regards to possible destruction of proper in progress at 1101 Washington Street in Ravenswood, the former Copes Market.
According to the complaint, the witness had seen two individuals break open a building door. Upon arriving at the scene, Patrolman Abel met the witness who then pointed him to the door in question.
As Abel made his way inside the building, he announced his presence and immediately noticed smoke and the smell of something burning. The complaint states Abel made his way to the basement where he then contacted dispatch and requested they notify the Fire Department of the situation.
Once the Fire Department was on the scene, Abel then went to speak with some of the neighbors, one of which he noticed had a camera facing the direction of the building.
According to the complaint, while speaking with the neighbors regarding the camera footage, the witness returned to advise Abel that the two suspects she had seen break open the door of the building were seen walking down a nearby street.
Abel drove to the location given and noticed two individuals that fit the description of the suspects. At his request, the individuals approached the cruiser. Abel then identified them as 26-year-old John Scott Chalden, by his West Virginia driver’s license, and 18-year-old Colton Peter Baye, who was identified by his name and date of birth through the E-911 system.
Upon conducting a frisk of the suspects, Abel noticed a couple of objects in their pockets that felt consistent with a cigarette lighter. Both Chalden and Baye confirmed Abel’s suspicions. With no further evidence at the time, both men were released.
Back at the scene, the footage from the neighbor's camera showed the two suspects who entered the door were wearing the same clothing that matched the description of the clothing both Chalden and Baye were wearing.
The complaint states that Abel, with the assistance of Deputy Varney, traveled to the residence of both suspects, detained them, and transported them to the Ravenswood Police Department to speak with Deputy State Fire Marshal Jason Baltic.
According to the complaint, Baltic stated Baye confirmed he had pulled the door open and said that it had not been very secure. Both Chalden and Baye then stated they had entered the building.
Both men were sent to South Central Regional Jail. Bail was set at $50,000 for each individual.