Accused letter-writer admits sending derogatory missives

Anton L. Purkart, a Geneva man accused of sending anonymous hate mail to residents, confessed to police that he did it to hurt others as he had been hurt on social media, according to a 106-page police report released through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Purkart, 50, of the first block of South Andover Lane, was charged July 13 with four counts of disorderly conduct, for knowingly sending derogatory statements to four people “in such an unreasonable manner as to alarm and disturb … and provoke a breach of the peace,” according to the charging documents.

Purkart’s hate mail targeted Hispanics, women and a gay man, all connected to various Facebook posts, records show. He also is suspected of writing similarly degrading letters to a teenager who was writing a column for the Kane County Chronicle in 2012 – sending letters to her school. 

The case was continued to Sept. 5.

On July 12, Purkart and his attorney met with police and he confessed, the report stated.

The police report stated: “Purkart admitted to sending the letters to multiple subjects and stated it was ‘really bad judgment’ on his part,” the police report stated. “Purkart advised that he acted alone and did not have any racist ideologies, was not part of any racist groups and did not have any anti-gay ideologies. Purkart did not have any reason for targeting the victims. [Redacted] Purkart claimed to not know any of these individuals in person and advised he would not recognize them face-to-face.

“Purkart selected them at random from Facebook and looked up their addresses via whitepages.com. None of the victims from this incident did anything to provoke Purkart; he was just looking for other people to hurt.

“Purkart could not recall the addresses where he sent the letters but believed he sent a couple to Geneva residents, one to a St. Charles resident and the ‘others’ he could not recall.”

However, some recipients of the letters said they were Purkart’s neighbors.

A Facebook ‘squabble’

As a stay-at-home dad, Purkart turned to Facebook as an alternative for interacting with other adults in the community.

He referred to a Facebook incident as a “squabble.”

The police report stated: “According to Purkart, his comments in the Facebook community were continually shot down, and he felt he was being attacked by his peers. Purkart advised, when another Facebook user (name not obtained) wanted the city of Geneva to have more parades, he responded by writing he thought there were enough parades. The Facebook user accused Purkart of being an online bully and other users criticized Purkart for his opinion.

“Purkart saw a conversation on Facebook about ICE activities in St. Charles and thought it was a ‘hot button issue’ and thought ‘maybe I can trigger someone like they triggered me.’

“Purkart advised his intention was ‘to get under someone else’s skin like they got under mine.’ Purkart again advised he is not a racist or anti-gay, he was just using those statements to hurt other people.

“Purkart advised he was ashamed of his behavior; Purkart further stated, the letter to [redacted] was in ‘horrible taste’ and he was desirous of apologizing to [redacted].

“Purkart has not been on Facebook and gave control of his account to his attorney, Matthew Haiduk.

“Purkart apologized for the time I [the officer] spent investigating this case and for the hurt he caused [redacted]. Purkart further stated he believed this incident was a wake-up call for him to deal with the ‘baggage’ and anger he has been experiencing.”

In an email, Geneva police Cmdr. Julie Nash wrote that charges in two more cases connected to Purkart are under review with the Kane County States Attorney.

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