'Very unusual': New bond, conditions set for Robert Crimo, Jr., father of Highland Park shooter

Crimo Jr. must surrender his FOID, conceal carry license and dangerous weapons

ByMaher Kawash, ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Sunday, December 18, 2022
Accused Highland Park shooter's father appears in bond court
Robert Crimo, Jr., father of accused Highland Park shooter Robert Crimo III, had his bond reduced to $50,000 cash bond on Saturday.

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- Robert Crimo, Jr., the father of suspected Highland Park parade shooter Robert 'Bobby' Crimo III appeared in virtual bond court in Lake County, Illinois, Saturday morning.

Under an agreement between the state and Crimo's defense team, the judge reduced his bond from $500,000 to a $50,000 cash bond. Judge Jacquelyn Melius also ordered Crimo Jr. to surrender his FOID card, conceal and carry license and any dangerous weapons in his possession within 24 hours of his release. Highland Park police will take possession of those items.

Under his release, Crimo Jr. will have a curfew and cannot have drugs or alcohol, or any weapons.

"This is all a shock to Mr. Crimo. This is a shock to us about his charges," said George Gomez, who is representing Crimo Jr.

"The states attorney went for it," said ABC7 Legal Analyst Gil Soffer. "We don't see charges like this very often. Very unusual to see parents of a shooter charged."

His next court date was set for January 12 at 9 a.m.

Crimo Jr. was charged Friday with seven counts of reckless conduct in relation to the July 4th mass shooting.

"Mr. Crimo has done nothing wrong in this case," Gomez said. Their premise in this case is practically making parents be fortune tellers to actions that possibly occurred three years ago."

The Lake County State's Attorney Eric Reinhart announced the charges, which are related to Crimo Jr.'s sponsorship of his son's Illinois FOID card in December 2019.

"Parents and guardians are in the best position to decide whether their teenager should have a weapon. They are the first line of defense. In this case, that system failed when Robert Crimo Jr. sponsored his son. He knew what he knew, and he signed the form anyway. This was criminally reckless and a contributing cause to the bodily harm suffered by the victims on July 4th," Reinhart said.

Lake County State's Attorney Eric Reinhart announced reckless conduct charges against Robert Crimo, Jr., father of the accused Highkand Park parade shooter.

Reinhart said the reckless conduct charges stem from the specific information Crimo Jr. knew about his son when sponsoring his FOID application.

"It's all gonna turn on what did the father know at the time he signed and how bad was that behavior and how predictable was it that it could lead to something like this," Soffer said. "Really the state's going to have to show that the father knew something unique, was really exposed to very violent, very troubling, very worrisome behavior and had information that the police and everybody else lacked."

Crimo Jr. is charged with one count per death in the mass shooting. He turned himself in Friday.

He could face up to three years in prison if convicted of these charges.

His attorney issued a statement in response to the charges, saying in part, "Mr. Robert Crimo Jr. voluntarily surrendered himself to the Highland Park Police Department at 2 pm today. We firmly believe these charges are baseless and unprecedented. On the eve of the statute of limitations for reckless conduct related to the sponsorship of Crimo III's FOID application, the Lake County State's County hastily made a decision to charge my client. This decision should alarm every single parent in the United States of America who according to the Lake County State's Attorney knows exactly what is going on with their 19 year old adult children and can be held criminally liable for actions taken nearly three years later. These charges are absurd and we will fight them every step of the way."

Crimo III faces 117 charges in the July 4 parade massacre that killed seven people and injured dozens more.

Crimo Jr. had previously said he does not regret sponsoring his son for a FOID card that allowed his son to legally purchase weapons -- even after incidents that raised red flags with police.

In July, Crimo Jr. described the entire situation as a nightmare, saying the family is just as shocked because he believes his son was raised with good morals.

SEE ALSO | 'This isn't the parent's fault': Accused Highland Park shooter's parents 'distraught," attorney says

"You know, I'm just in upheaval. Of everything. Emotions. I mean, it's just. It's numbing and I don't know how else to explain it. Like I'm in a bad dream right now," he said.

Crimo Jr. said he never expected this of his son, who now sits in custody accused of massacring parade-goers on the Fourth of July in Highland Park, killing seven people.

"As a father, I pretty much lost a son," Crimo Jr. said.

He spoke publicly for the first time in an exclusive phone interview with ABC News.

Listen to full interview

Robert Crimo, Jr., the father of Highland Park parade shooting suspect Robert "Bobby" Crimo III, spoke exclusively to ABC News, saying his son was raised with "good morals."

Crimo, Jr. said he knew his son was in possession of a handgun, saying that he showed it to him, but said he did not know his son had purchased at least five weapons, including two high-powered rifles.

RELATED: Highland Park parade shooting suspect planned for weeks; gun legally purchased, authorities say

But his son was known to police.

In April 2019, the same month the elder Crimo ran for Highland Park mayor and lost, a police report shows Bobby's mother told officers her son "attempted to commit suicide by machete" and that he had a "history of attempts."

The Highland Park Police Department determined that the alleged Fourth of July massacre suspect posed "clear and present danger" after a family member claimed he was threatening to "kill everyone" in September 2019, a newly released police record shows.

Police ultimately removed a 24-inch Samurai sword and numerous knives from the young Crimo's room. They were later returned to the father, who said he was living elsewhere at the time.

Crimo Jr. downplayed threats his son made in 2019 to kill others, likening it to a child's outburst.

HERE: Redacted Highland Park Police Report From September 2019 Released

He said that didn't change his mind about his son owning a gun, leaving it up to the vetting process.

"Making threats to the family -- I think it's taken on a context where it's like just a child's outburst, whatever he was upset about," Crimo Jr. said.

It was just three months later that Crimo Jr. sponsored his son's under-21 firearm owners ID card, which was approved by Illinois State Police and renewed when Bobby turned 21.

When asked whether he feels guilt about sponsoring his son for a FOID card after several incidents that raised red flags with police, he said, "Guilty. No, he did it all on his own."

SEE ALSO | 'This isn't the parent's fault': Accused Highland Park shooter's parents 'distraught," attorney says

He said he doesn't regret helping his son get a FOID card because he was following the law.

"You know, he went through the legal process. I don't know if it's guilt. I feel horrible as to what happened. Beyond horrible," Crimo Jr. added.

However, he didn't get a FOID card on his own. To go through the legal process for gun ownership at 19, Crimo III needed a sponsor, vouching that he wasn't a threat.

"I filled out the consent form to allow my son to go through the process that the Illinois State Police have in place for an individual to obtain a FOID card. Like that's all it was, a consent form to allow my son to go through the process. They do background checks," Crimo Jr. said.

ABC News contributed to this report.