CHICAGO (CBS) — The man accused of plowing his SUV through a popular suburban mall is expected in court Tuesday afternoon to face terrorism charges, but some experts aren’t sure the charges fit the crime.
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At the mall, the damage from the incident is obvious, and Sears’ doors are still boarded up.
Sunday 22-year-old Javier Garcia was denied bond. He is charged with terrorism, which Schaumburg police say is an act that causes substantial damage to a building with five or more businesses. The damage needs to be $100,000 or more.
CBS 2 learned Garcia searched “Woodfield Mall” 124 times. “Sears” was included in the searches and was searched 35 times.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Winter Conditions Return; Rain, Snow Possible
While Garcia’s lawyers said he has no connection to terrorism, the state’s attorney’s office says the charges are fair.
CBS 2 spoke with an expert who says this may be a hard case to make.
“Anything can happen, but it strikes me as a stretch to call this terrorism. The fact that an individual who’s disturbed or angry at somebody goes in and engages in a mass killing or attempted mass killing doesn’t make it allow it to rise to the level of terrorism,” said DePaul University Professor Tom Mockaitis.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Mix Of Rain And Snow Coming Tuesday
Garcia also faces a felony count of criminal damage to property.