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Police say they stopped Chicago man on way to burn down friend’s garage


Updated: February 4, 2013 1:56PM

When a Chicago Police officer investigating reports of a suspicious person found Michael Sayles with a white plastic bag and a lighter Friday night, the officer jokingly asked if the South Side man planned to burn something down.

Sayles allegedly said yes.

He pointed to the bag that the officer had ordered him to drop in the 1500 block of West 89th Street, according to a police report. Sayles said he had the gas “in that bag right there,” the officer wrote, and Sayles later said he had planned to burn down a friend’s garage.

The officer found six glass bottles full of gas inside the bag, records showed. They were taped together in two sets of three with black electrical tape and a red cloth wrapped around the tops for a wick.

Sayles, 28, of the 9000 block of South Elizabeth, was charged with attempted arson and was ordered held in lieu of $200,000 bail Sunday.

Sayles allegedly told the officer that he grew up with his “friend,” whom he said had disrespected Sayles and his family. That person lived more than two miles away and, when the officer pointed out that would be a long walk on a cold night, Sayles said, “I have my bus card in my pocket.”

The officer told Sayles he could have really have hurt some people, and Sayles allegedly agreed.

Sayles said he needed to go back to church, the officer wrote, and said something bad happens every time he tries to do good. Sayles said people are always trying to bring him down, according to the police report.

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