Prosecutors charged man with murder for allegedly tampering with gas line

By Kevin Beese Staff Reporter

Frank Ryan

A Waterman man has been charged with attempted murder for allegedly tampering with the natural gas line of an Elburn home.

Frank Ryan, 33, a resident of the 300 block of North Cedar Street in Waterman, allegedly tried to alter the gas line into an Elburn home so that gas would spray into the home’s interior, knowing that someone was in the home at the time, according to prosecutors.

Ryan has been charged with two counts of attempted murder, one count of criminal damage to property between $500 and $10,000, two counts of reckless conduct and two counts of battery.

Kane County prosecutors allege that in the early morning hours of Jan. 19, Ryan rerouted a natural gas line by drilling a hole in the exposed line outside a home on Downing Street in Elburn, drilling a hole through the home’s exterior wall, connecting a tube to the gas line and placing the other end of the tube through the hole and into the home’s interior.

Ryan purchased the materials used to commit his offense the previous day, according to prosecutors. Ryan also had covered a doorbell camera at the home with duct tape, prosecutors said.

Two people were inside the home at the time. The homeowner discovered the tube and called 911. No one was injured in the incident.

Ryan appeared Jan. 23 in Kane County bond court. Kane County Circuit Judge René Cruz set Ryan’s bail at $200,000, with 10 percent ($20,000) required for bond. He was being held in Kane County Jail in lieu of bond.

If Ryan posts bond, he is to have no contact with the alleged victims, no contact with a specified person who is known by Ryan and an alleged victim, and he is to surrender any firearms and Firearm Owners Identification card.

The Elburn Police Department conducted the investigation with assistance from the Kane County Major Crimes Task Force, DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, and Waterman and Aurora police departments.

A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for Feb. 13 at the Kane County Judicial Center.

If convicted, Ryan faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 6-30 years in prison on the attempted murder charges, 1-3 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000 on the criminal damage to property charge, and up to 354 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500 on the reckless conduct and battery charges.