The people you meet in County Jail…

Suspect held on $5 million bond after Gurnee slaying, stabbing

By Beth Kramer and Rosemary Sobol; Sun-Times Media August 19, 2011; 12:01PM

An 18-year-old Waukegan man is being held in lieu of $5 million bail, charged with fatally stabbing a man and seriously wounding a teen as the three rode in an SUV in Gurnee.

Zervant S. Thomas is charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder in the death of Stefan A. Metel, 33, of Round Lake, and the stabbing of a 17-year-old boy passenger as they rode in a 1992 Jeep Cherokee Thursday afternoon down Grand Avenue, Lake County Deputy State’s Attorney Jeff Pavletic said.

Thomas was out on bond on burglary charges from a May 23 Waukegan break-in, Pavletic said, asking for the high bail, which Judge Raymond Collins granted.

Pavletic said Metel picked up Thomas, who he had met in Lake County Jail, at Thomas’ apartment in the 700 block of Walnut Street. Metel then stopped and picked up the teen, who sat in the front passenger seat, Gurnee police said.

When Metel said he was going to stop at his house for gas money before dropping Thomas at his destination, Thomas became enraged and stabbed Metel five times in the face and twice in the throat, and then stabbed the 17-year-old twice in his left eye, Pavletic said.

After Metel was stabbed, the vehicle continued to roll down Grand and veered off onto a berm near the intersection with Arlington Lane, coming to a stop near the Anthony Buick-GMC dealership in the 7200 block of Grand.

The 17-year-old jumped out of the moving vehicle and ran into the dealership. Metel ran to the parking lot near the dealership’s service area, where he collapsed. He was taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville and later pronounced dead.

The teen was treated for his injuries and held overnight at Condell. His injuries are not believed to be life threatening.

Thomas also got out of the Jeep and made his way to the dealership, where employees held him until a bystander flagged down a Lake County sheriff’s deputy, police said. He is due back in court Aug. 31.

On Thursday, authorities said there had been some confusion at the scene, with reports of people with gunshot wounds and an armed suspect having fled the scene through the neighborhood next to the dealership.

Responding officers armed with assault rifles searched the area based on the initial reports, but later learned no guns were involved, authorities said. A large folding knife was recovered near the Jeep, authorities said.

Dear “Im Not Herzog” Readers Who May Find Themselves in the County Jail,

Please, please, please don’t befriend 18-year old crazed-looking black burglars, O.K.? And if you do wind up becoming friends, run your errands after you drop off the crazy guy first. That’s all my advice for today.


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5 Responses to The people you meet in County Jail…

  1. Lydia McGrew says:

    Dear FH,

    I’m glad I read this, even though I’m coming late to the game. It made me laugh. You have a way of making something dark like this funny. Take, say, LA over at VFR. Now, he would doubtless make the same point, but you did it more humorously, and I didn’t even feel bitter when I was done laughing. More like I had just read a zinger cartoon.


  2. Angel says:

    This is in no way funny. You should be ashamed of yourself! I had known Steve since he was in grade school, while he had a few issues, he was a good guy with a huge heart. His mother worked with my father for years. He grew up around the corner from us and was friends with my younger brother for many years. He left behind a daughter whom he loved and adored very much. For quite some time, he even had custody of his ex-wife’s son. Steve raised Christopher as his own and also loved and adored that little boy.

    • Fake Herzog says:


      No one should die a horrible death, but I’d say “Steve” had more than “a few issues” if he’s befriending crazed 18-year old black boys that he meets in the County jail and driving them around town. I mean what the heck is he doing in the middle of the afternoon with two teenagers in his Jeep in the first place?

      Totally weird.

  3. Angel says:

    You do not know the circumstances, nor does anyone else but to make light of a horrific situation is in no way funny. It shows a level of immaturity. Hopefully no horrible crimes are committed on any of your loved ones and no one takes it upon themselves to make fun of the situation. Try a little compassion for his loved ones, especially his children.

  4. Angel says:

    Oh, and just so you know….Steve was with these juveniles in an attempt to save them from the life of gangs. He wanted to change the life of kids who were borderline or those he thought could be saved with the proper guidance.

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