Boystown: Arson charges filed after lit torch is left burning apartment door

Jeremy Cole | CPD

A Boystown man is in custody, charged with intentionally leaving an ignited blowtorch lying against an occupied apartment’s door early Monday morning. One police officer suffered minor injuries from smoke inhalation in the incident, a CPD spokesperson said.

Jeremy Cole, 32, of the 600 block of West Aldine is charged with felony aggravated arson with the knowledge that a person was present; felony violation of an order of protection; misdemeanor harassment-threat to person; and misdemeanor violation of an order of protection.

Police and fire personnel were called to an apartment building in the 500 block of West Melrose at 12:42 a.m. Monday after a 39-year-old man and 21-year-old woman reported that a known acquaintance was trying to burn their apartment door down with a blow torch. The woman is Cole’s ex-boyfriend and the other victim is her current boyfriend, according to a police report.

The male victim told police that he had recently received a message from the offender stating that the offender had obtained a “flame thrower,” police said.

When officers arrived on the apartment building’s third floor, they found the blow torch propped against the door with an open flame burning, according to a police spokesperson. The suspect was no longer on the scene.

Cole is currently on two separate probations:

On July 10, 2018, a man identified as Cole’s then-boyfriend told police that Cole grabbed him by the shirt and pulled him backward at the Wrigleyville Taco Bell, 1111 West Addison. Cole, who was listed as “homeless” at the time, was arrested and charged with domestic battery.

Police reported finding “three glass pipes commonly used for smoking narcotics” in Cole’s bookbag along with a plastic container that was used to cut narcotics and a syringe containing an unknown liquid, according to court records.

During a second search, Cole yelled that he was HIV positive and began swinging his arms and trying to bite two police officers, according to a supplemental arrest report.

He was charged with domestic battery, possessing drug paraphernalia, and two counts of aggravated assault of a police officer. He pleaded guilty to one of the assault charges and was sentenced to one year of probation by Judge Anthony Calabrese on July 23.

Then, on Dec. 12th, Cole was arrested after he allegedly threatened his live-in boyfriend with a knife in their Boystown home. He pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and was given 18-months probation by Judge Diana Kenworthy.

Cole was due in bond court today.
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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is