Local

Plainfield street racing case continues next year

Police have arrested 5 street racing suspects

Two suspects in a Plainfield street racing case have court hearings scheduled for early next year.

Paul R. Powell, 35, is slated to appear in court Feb. 7, while his co-defendant, Timothy J. Hagan, 47, will make his next court appearance Jan. 24, Will County State’s Attorney spokeswoman Carole Cheney said.

Both men were at the Will County Courthouse on Monday to schedule their next court appearances.

Powell’s attorney, Joseph Serpico, failed to return calls Monday.

Powell and Hagan are two of at least five suspects arrested in an ongoing investigation by Plainfield police and the state’s attorney’s office into street racing.

Police have arrest warrants for two more suspects. Will County Judge Dan Rippy has those cases sealed from public view because it is an ongoing criminal investigation.

Powell, who has been named as a co-defendant in almost every case, is the owner of the YouTube channel FamilyCruisin, which was investigated by Plainfield police. The channel has more than 64,000 subscribers and 9.9 million views.

Hagan had a YouTube channel as well called Growls Garage. Hagan is a registered sexual predator who was convicted of sexually abusing a teenage girl in 2009 while he was working for a school.

Powell, Hagan, Joseph N. Lukas, 36, Steven J. Fredenhagen, 41, and Ian Whelton, 26, all have been arrested on charges of street racing. Prosecutors have said the criminal charges stem from a three-month investigation by Plainfield police into the suspects’ alleged street racing activities after viewing a video of Powell’s Dodge Challenger Hellcat catching on fire.

The Hellcat caught fire because of a mechanical failure July 31 on Book Road, according to a Plainfield Fire Protection District report. Plainfield police and firefighters responded to the incident.

The criminal complaints filed thus far allege that Powell and Hagan were street racing on Interstate 355 in Lemont, Powell and Fredenhagen were street racing on Route 30 in Plainfield and on I-355, and Powell and Lukas were street racing on Book Road in Plainfield.

In many of Powell’s videos, he is driving the Hellcat, racing other drivers or talking about cars. In one video, he offers to do burnouts with his car for money.

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