A Yorkville man has been accused of starting a fire in a Plano Walmart, before setting two buildings on fire in DeKalb and then leading police on a chase. He was arrested on his way to Dixon.
Randall S. Stiles, 35, of the 9200 block of Van Emmon Road, Yorkville, started a fire in the automotive aisle at Walmart, in the 6800 block of Route 34, at about 12:40 p.m. on Thursday, police said.
He’s facing charges in Plano, as well as charges of attempted arson and arson in DeKalb County. In Lee County, Stiles is charged with driving under the influence — combination of alcohol and drugs — fleeing to elude. If convicted of the most serious crime, arson, a Class 2 felony, Stiles could face up to seven years in prison and fines up to $25,000.
Stiles appeared before DeKalb County Circuit Court Judge Marcy Buick on Friday for a virtual bond hearing from the DeKalb County Jail.
During the hearing, Buick asked if he wanted her to appoint a public defender for his case and Stiles told her, “I already admitted to everything. I don’t see how they’re going to help me. I have money but I ain’t giving it to them.” He also said he intended to represent himself.
“I’m burning down Walgreens when I get out because they tried to vaccinate me,” Stiles said at one point, before holding up a Bible in front of the Zoom camera.
“I’m going to mute you,” Buick replied.
DeKalb County Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Hodder asked Stiles’ bond to be set at $500,000 with 10% needed to post bail. DeKalb County Public Defender Tom McCulloch asked that Stiles be released on a recognizance bond.
Buick instead set Stiles’ bond at $300,000, with 10% to apply. Stiles would need to post $30,000 to be released from jail.
“There are some statements made by the defendant that give the court pause as to whether he will willingly appear before the court in the future,” Buick said. “For those reasons and also due to the nature of the charges, I am going to set monetary bail in this case.”
Police said that after Stiles left the Plano Walmart he made his way to DeKalb County, where about an hour later he allegedly tried to set a barn on fire in the 15000 block of Crego Road. According to a DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office news release, Stiles was driving a full-size white Ford van when he fled.
DeKalb County sheriff’s deputies then responded to a report of a fully-engulfed garage fire at 2:08 p.m. in the 14000 block of Howison Road, DeKalb, and responded to a report of a pole barn fire at 3:46 p.m. in the 13000 block of Route 34, Somonauk. Stiles allegedly fled the scene again. No injuries were reported in any fire.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Department found Stiles near Locust and Perry Roads in Lee County and tried to stop his vehicle, which was headed west on Route 38 toward Dixon, according to a joint statement from the Lee County Sheriff’s Department and the Dixon Police Department.
Deputies attempted to initiate a traffic stop on the suspect’s vehicle, but Stiles failed to stop.
“Further information was received that Mr. Stiles had threatened to drive into a bridge and also advised that he wanted to be involved in a ‘shootout with law enforcement,’ ” the joint statement read.
Police stopped Stiles’ vehicle using spike strips near Route 38 and Nachusa Road, according to the statement.
“Due to the deployment of the spike stripes, the vehicle exited the roadway and entered a cornfield to the north of the roadway,” the statement read.
Stiles was arrested and brought to the Lee County Sheriff’s Department. After he was processed at the Lee County Jail, Stiles was released into the custody of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office.
Hodder said DeKalb County pretrial services also recommended Stiles undergo a psychiatric treatment evaluation.
“I’m not going to order that today,” Buick said. “I will leave that up to the attorney from the public defender’s office.”
Stiles is next set to appear for a status hearing on the charges in DeKalb County at 3 p.m. on Aug. 26.
This is a developing story which could be updated as more information becomes available.
Source: The Daily Chronicle