|Grunauer (Cook Co. Sheriff's Office)|
Grunauer “gave a statement admitting to forcibly entering the building at 5009 N. Sheridan, a scene of a recent fire…[and]…detectives continue to investigate the other fire related incidents and additional charges are possible.”
Grunauer is charged with one count of burglary in the Sheridan case. He is not—and has never been—charged with arson in Cook County. Bail is set at $4,000.
Terrible FortuneCourt records paint a rather luckless picture of Daniel Grunauer.
The Chicago Tribune reported in March that Grunauer was charged with calling in a false marine distress report that sent the U.S. Coast Guard and the Chicago Police Department's helicopter and Marine Unit searching for a non-existent person in the water near Edgewater Beach.
On June 1, a building manager in the 5800 block of Kenmore told police that two witnesses saw Grunauer throwing lit pieces of paper out of his window, setting fire to a couch below. The police report from that incident says Grunauer was also seen “on video shutting off power to the building... by switching off the circuit breakers.” Grunauer was charged with two counts of reckless conduct, but all charges were subsequently dropped.
At the time, Grunauer worked as a bartender for Wrigleyville's Fiesta Cantina, 3407 N. Clark.
Seven days after the Kenmore incident, on June 8, the Sheridan Road fire took place.
On June 10, a series of early morning fires swept through Wrigleyville, destroying several cars. As CWB reported at the time, “the first sign of trouble came...when officers…found a mattress on fire behind the Red Ivy bar, 3525 N Clark.”
Sometime over the summer, Grunauer moved out of his Kenmore apartment and into a unit in the 900 block of Ainslie.
|Image: Google Earth|
On August 19, an arson fire swept up the wooden porches behind an apartment complex at 919-923 W Margate Terrace in Uptown, displacing several residents, one of whom told CWB that he barely escaped with his life.
The Margate Terrace complex is located directly behind Grunauer’s Ainslie home.
Grunauer, whose age is shown as both 28 and 30 in various court records, pleaded guilty to impersonating a police officer in 2011 and was sentenced to one year probation and 50 hours of community service.
Chicago Police arson investigators continue to hunt for an arsonist who they believe remains on the streets. Another series of fires struck in Boystown this past weekend and, according to the 48th ward's Marko Zaric, Grunauer was in jail at the time.