Crime & Courts

911 calls depict moments after Crystal Lake stabbing

Charles Hightower
Charles Hightower

A 911 caller who reported a stabbing in a Crystal Lake neighborhood late last month hung up on the dispatcher after refusing to explain why the alleged victim and assailant were arguing.

A pair of Oct. 24 calls to 911 described in graphic detail the aftermath of a stabbing that led to the arrest of former Crystal Lake Elementary District 47 teacher Charles A. Hightower.

“He just wants a cigarette because that’s what he does," one caller said of the victim. "His intestines are hanging out his belly right now. Not good, not good.”

The call was placed shortly after an altercation in the 100 block of Edgewood Avenue, where police have said three adult men were stabbed. The caller provided detailed information about the suspect – later identified as Hightower – but declined to tell the dispatcher what happened leading up to the stabbings.

"He got in a fight over a dispute and he stabbed somebody," the caller said.

When pressed further, the man claimed the operator's question was "irrelevant to [his] situation," and hung up the phone.

Hightower, 38, of the 1900 block of Wyndham Lane, Rockton, is charged with aggravated battery and attempted murder in connection with the stabbings. He remains free on bond after a family member posted $35,000 bail on his behalf Tuesday, records show.

After the attack, Hightower allegedly fled the area without a shirt in a black Dodge, according to the 911 calls. Police soon after stopped Hightower in the area of Lake Avenue at Oakwood Drive and arrested him, police reports show.

Hightower's father, Charles Hightower Sr., said the stabbings happened in self defense after Hightower Jr. was jumped at a bonfire.

Neither of the Hightower Jr.'s attorneys, Steven Jaenicke and Bruce Brandwein, could immediately be reached to provide further details about the allegations.

A phone number listed in court records as belonging to Hightower Jr. did not seem to be in service Friday morning.

After a brief status hearing Friday, Hightower's case was continued to Nov. 27.

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