NATO threat suspect ‘maybe had a little bit too much to drink’: lawyer
BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN Criminal Courts Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org May 23, 2012 1:46PM
Urszula Mounts, mother of Sebastian Senakiewicz. | Rummana Hussain~Sun-Times
Updated: July 3, 2012 8:57AM
The mother of an anti-NATO protester accused of threatening to blow up a train overpass defended her son Wednesday and described him as a “good boy.”
“I am here to support my son and I believe that he is not guilty,” a teary eyed Urszula Mounts said after Sebastian Senakiewicz appeared in court for a brief hearing.
“He’s a good boy.”
Mounts traveled from Florida in hopes of visiting Senakiewicz, who is being held Cook County Jail on $750,000 bail after he was arrested over the weekend.
Senakiewicz, a native of Poland, is a self-described member of the notorious “Black Bloc” anarchist group and made the controversial comments because he was upset at the “lack of chaos” in Chicago, prosecutors said. But even though Senakiewicz boasted about how he could hide explosives in a hollowed-out Harry Potter book and had a car full of explosives and weapons, none were found in the Chicago home where he was staying.
After Senakiewicz appeared before Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. Wednesday, the 24-year-old man’s lawyers suggested he might have made the statements while he was intoxicated and possibly goaded by undercover officers.
“We don’t want people who maybe had a little bit too much to drink in the city of Chicago to be arrested for something that may be said and, maybe people say stupid things when they’re drunk, but that is not a basis to arrest,” Melinda Power told reporters.
“I suspect probably everybody standing here could have said something they regret when they were drunk. ... If people get drunk and if other people get them drunk and then egg them on, that is not the proper procedure.”
Mounts will be allowed to see Senakiewicz, who is currently in a cell at Cermak Hospital, Cook County sheriff’s spokesman Frank Bilecki said later Wednesday.
Also appearing before Bourgeois Wednesday was 28-year-old Chicagoan Mark Neiweem, who allegedly discussed buying pipe-bomb components in connection to the NATO protests.
Neiweem’s attorney Steven Saltzman also defended his client, who he complained was locked in his cell in solitary confinement 23 hours a day.
The lawyer questioned why his client was arrested over a “conversation” he may have had with who he believes were undercover officers.
“This case right now is about a conversation,” Saltzman said.
Both Senakiewicz and Neiweem are expected back in court on June 13.
Law enforcement officials said the pair know each other as well as the three other men charged with plotting to firebomb President Barack Obama’s campaign headquarters, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s house and police stations and cop cars.