Tuesday, September 16, 2014

HOT WATER: Former Wrigleyville Bartender "Arrested...In Connection With" Uptown Fire Has Terrible Luck

Grunauer (Cook Co. Sheriff's Office)
UPDATE 2:25PM Sept 19: After the community expressed dissatisfaction with Grunauer's bond of $4,000, a judge today ruled that the suspect will be held without bond.
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Former Wrigleyville bartender Daniel Grunauer has been “arrested...in connection with the recent fires" around Uptown's Margate Park, 48th ward staffer Marko Zaric says.

Grunauer “gave a statement admitting to forcibly entering the building at 5009 N. Sheridan, a scene of a recent fire…[and]…detectives continue to investigate the other fire related incidents and additional charges are possible," according to Zaric.

Grunauer is charged with one count of burglary in the Sheridan case. He is not (and has never been) charged with arson in Cook County. Bail is set at $4,000. (UPDATE 9/30: Grunauer has now been charged with attempted arson in connection with an incident at 840 W. Ainslie in late August.)

Chicago Police arson investigators continue to hunt for an arsonist who they believe remains on the streets. Another series of fires struck in Boystown this past weekend and, according to Zaric, Grunauer was in jail at the time.

Luckless Fortune

Daniel Grunauer made a cameo in this, the last Tweet from an
Oak Park gay bar before it was destroyed in an arson fire.
Grunauer, who spent a fair amount of time in Boystown bars, managed to get mentioned in the next-to-last Tweet from Oak Park gay bar Velvet Rope.

Velvet Rope was destroyed in an alleged arson fire 40 hours later. The bar's owner, Frank Elliott, is charged with arson and insurance fraud.

On June 1 this year, a building manager in the 5800 block of Kenmore told police that two witnesses saw Grunauer throwing lit pieces of paper out of his window, setting fire to a couch below.

The police report from that incident says Grunauer - then employed as a bartender at Wrigleyville's Fiesta Cantina - was also seen “on video shutting off power to the building... by switching off the circuit breakers.” Grunauer was charged with two counts of reckless conduct, but all charges were subsequently dropped.

The Sheridan Road incident went down seven days after that, on June 8.

On June 10, a series of early morning fires swept through Wrigleyville, destroying several cars. No one has been charged.

Grunauer moved out of his Kenmore apartment and into a unit in the 900 block of Ainslie.

Image: Google Earth
Then, a still-unsolved arson fire engulfed the porches of a building on Margate Terrace on August 19, directly behind Grunauer's new home.

A victim of that fire has told CWB that he barely escaped with his life.

A week later, an attempted arson took place in the 800 block of Ainslie, one block east of Grunauer's apartment. He was charged with attempted arson in that case in late September.

Grunauer, whose age is shown as both 28 and 30 in various court records, pleaded guilty to impersonating a police officer in the 3400 block of Broadway four years ago.

The Chicago Tribune reported in March that he had been charged with phoning in a false marine distress at Edgewater Beach, sending the U.S. Coast Guard and the Chicago Police Department's helicopter and Marine Unit searching for a non-existent person in the water. In court records, police alleged that Grunauer falsely reported that a man yelling something about a woman and "Allah" slipped on the rock and fell into the lake. All charges were dropped.
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22 comments:

  1. I went to take my trash out last night in the alley between Sheffield/Kenmore (relatively close to the arson area) and my gate was blocked by a box spring and mattress. I thought to myself, great, a nice attractive burning location for the arsonist right behind my house! I called 311 and was informed to call the 44th ward Streets and San and they were closed for the night. I was paranoid all night. I called this morning however, just went outside and it's gone. I'm glad they got on that fast.

    If anyone sees something attractive like that in their alley - Call 311!

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    1. Excellent suggestion. Thank you.

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    2. This is the same guy that is the states main witness against Frank Elliott in the Velvet Rope arsan. Maybe the owner didnt do it after all.

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    3. Thank you for the info on Velvet Rope, anonymous

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    4. Holy crap! I remember seeing this guy all over Boystown. He was kinda crazy and dramatic. This wouldn't surprise me.

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    5. Frank Elliott was involved as he was struggling to open in Boystown and removed all the expensive liquor plus said maybe it was a hate crime about the slur on the wall before he had been back in the building. I think Bonsai will close 9/30 for good as the liquor license is up. Also the Police got a lot of information about Velvet Rope throught a Civil Suit were depos were taken when a person that sold it to Elliott wasn't being paid. She one. He's got lots of problems.

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  2. What a jackass. Who does shit like this?

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  3. Someone's mommy and daddy didn't give him enough attention when he was a child. He's like a little, bratty kid, doing naughty things to get the grown ups to give him some.

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    1. I tend to agree with your "bratty kid" analogy. If kids don't have any consequences, they will continue their bad behavior, and it will only get worse and worse. (Kind of like all the criminals running around Chicago, who frequently get a slap on the wrist. Of course they will continue with their criminal/thug ways!)

      Also reminds me of the POS rich girl who murdered her Mom in Bali. From what I read, she behaved badly - even as a little kid - and rec'd no punishment/discipline.

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  4. Besides being a total douche, he is buttfuck ugly.

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  5. can't believe with so many dots connecting that this guy is being held on a bond of only $4000.00

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    1. I thought the same thing, that $4K was a very low bail. Whomever decided upon that low bail....would they feel the same if their home was burned down by an arsonist? Probably not.

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  6. How much stuff does one person have to do before thy are taken off the street ?....Either to jail or a mental ward?

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  7. Russ, yeah I thought the same thing. 400 dollars and this guy can get out of jail. I wonder who the Judge was that gave that bond. I can wager a pretty good guess though who it was.

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  8. This guy has done this before (among other various crimes). About 10 or so years ago, he attempted to set fire to a friend's bathroom in his house during a party because he was angry he was not getting the attention from a particular person he was attracted to. Daniel has had this type of behavior for years, including stating he is a LEO, paramedic, and a helicopter pilot.

    While we do have to wait and see if he is charged and convicted of any crimes, his past behavior that I have witnessed first-hand, corroborates in my mind, Daniel to these crimes. The fact that he is connected to the Velvet Rope arson fire is even more concerning.

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  9. I'm glad he's off the streets before someone got seriously hurt.

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  10. Dan set my place on fire!

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  11. Daniel is very much someone who I have seen around Boystown. He is very dramatic and attention seeking. From what I have been told he is a pathological liar and a creep. Attention seeking behavior at this age is not appropriate.

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  12. His dad a firefighter Sargent or something like that. Knew this guy for a while.

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  13. He also has been known to call 911 and falsely report HIMSELF as an offender for various crimes, just to have contact with the police.

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  14. In the Margate Terrace fire, this creep not only burned down a 100 year old building gem of Uptown, ruining the lives of 13 people who lived there, but also burned a beloved cat to death. This guy should be locked up and sent to hell! He's obviously a sick mf.

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  15. It's to bad I know Daniel, never thought he was this way..

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