Reporting Pamela Jones
NAPERVILLE, Ill. (CBS) – A Naperville man is speaking out to CBS 2 after he was arrested for hiding an AWOL marine in his attic.
Daniel Vermette is accused of obstructing justice, but he’s telling CBS 2 he had a good reason for doing it.
“I was more worried about what I could do to help,” said Vermette.
Vermette says he wasn’t trying to break the law but that he just wanted to help his friend.
“He had been my friend for a long time,” said Vermette.
Helping that AWOL friend hide above his garage in an attic crawlspace got the 24-year-old former marine in a heap of trouble with the law.
Daniel Vermette now faces a misdemeanor obstruction charge. Police went to the Naperville townhome October 7 to help the Marine Corp find 21-year-old Jeremiah Rivera- on the run from service.
Vermette answered the door but officers say he lied.
“Individual claimed to have no knowledge of Rivera’s whereabouts,” said Naperville Police Sgt. Lou Cammiso.
“I had two guns that showed up at my door,” said Vermette. “I didn’t want to really get involved. Period.”
Officers searched the garage found Rivera and arrested him, a man Vermette says was pushed to his fate by mental illness and lack of treatment, not unlike Vermette himself.
“I kept telling him ‘hey, let’s go to the VA. Let’s get you some help.’ But was afraid to really address his issues, which is unfortunately what happened to me too. I deployed in 2011 and I didn’t get help until 2013 because I was afraid to address my issues. I was afraid that somebody would look at me like I wasn’t normal,” said Vermette.