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Local

Man accused of grabbing gun in Sandwich Fairgrounds incident

Rockdale spectator hit by mud truck in serious condition at Downers Grove hospital

Steven F. Hardenbergh, 68, of DeKalb
Steven F. Hardenbergh, 68, of DeKalb

SANDWICH – While first-responders arrived at the Sandwich Fairgrounds to attend to a man who was hit by a mud truck, a DeKalb man stuck in traffic exiting the grounds was grabbing a gun to intimidate another motorist, DeKalb County Chief Deputy Andy Sullivan said.

Steven F. Hardenbergh, 68, of the 1100 block of Stafford Street, has been charged with disorderly conduct, typically punishable by up to a year in jail. Sullivan said Hardenbergh, who had a passenger in his red minivan in the north lot of the fairgrounds at 1401 Suydam Road, told the other motorist to “move their car,” before retrieving and holstering a pistol and continuing to argue with the other motorist.

Sullivan said Hardenbergh has a concealed-carry permit and a Firearm Owner’s Identification card, but that doesn’t excuse the measures to which he resorted.

“What would be the reason to get a pistol over a traffic incident?” Sullivan said. “Even though it was holstered, it was not necessary.”

Hardenbergh was taken to the DeKalb County Jail, where he posted bail, according to a news release.

Minutes before that, sheriff’s deputies and Sandwich police had arrived to check on Edward E. Oldaker, 48, of the 100 block of Central Avenue in Rockdale. Sullivan said Oldaker, a spectator, was on the wrong side of a protective concrete barricade at the far-left end of the mud track when a modified off-road 1997 Chevy S-10 pickup driven by Brittany M. Thom, 24, of the W200 block of County Road N in Niagara, Wisconsin, veered left and hit Oldaker.

A release sent Sunday morning by the sheriff’s office said Oldaker suffered life-threatening injuries, but according to staff at Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, to which Oldaker was flown, he’s in serious condition.

Police are still hoping to see more videos than the one they were provided with at the event, in order to help the investigation.

If you have video, or if you witnessed the event, call the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office at 815-895-2155.

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