Robert “Bobby” Crimo III, the alleged Highland Park Fourth of July parade shooter, prank-called a New York Post reporter on New Year’s Eve from jail, the outlet reported Saturday.
Crimo III used the inmate telephone system to contact the reporter, who previously tried to reach Crimo, around 7 p.m. on Dec. 31, Christopher Covelli, Lake County deputy chief, said in a statement. After the reporter accepted the call, the two exchanged quick hellos before Crimo made a joke and hung up.
“Is your refrigerator running?” Crimo, 22, said.
“Uh, yeah,” the reporter said, according to Covelli. “Why?”
“Well, you better go catch it!” he said.
Covelli said both then were heard laughing before Crimo ended the call.
All calls from inmates are recorded and subject to monitoring, Covelli said. The Crimo prank call has been sent to the state’s attorney’s office for review.
Covelli said neither the reporter nor the New York Post contacted the Lake County sheriff’s office about the call.
“We have the ability to prevent inmates from calling specific telephone numbers, but numbers can only be blocked when we receive an order from the court or a request from someone specifically,” Covelli said. “A court order is required to completely revoke phone privileges from an inmate.”
Crimo fired dozens of shots from a rooftop perch into a crowd gathered for the Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, according to prosecutors in the case. Seven people were killed and 48 wounded.
He has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder. His next court hearing is scheduled for Jan. 31.
The Post had attempted to schedule an interview with Crimo through the jail’s communication app in December, the outlet said. The meeting was never arranged, and Crimo ended up calling the number on the reporter’s profile weeks later. When the reporter answered the call on New Year’s Eve, Crimo was identified by a prerecorded voice message.
Liz Turnipseed, 41, was one of the many people injured in the shooting. She was shot in the pelvis while attending the parade with her husband and 3-year-old daughter, the Post reported. She told the Post she now walks with a cane and has panic attacks in crowded public spaces.
In response to the phone call, Turnipseed said Crimo “clearly doesn’t have any respect for life and people in any way shape or form.”
“Whether that’s him making an unbelievable lame prank call to a reporter or committing a mass shooting, I think it just speaks to the terrible person that is,” Turnipseed said to the Post.