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Local

Group protests Hennepin man’s arrest during fire

Police said he tried to enter the burning pet store building

A group of friends of Jimmy Boekeloo gathered Sunday at the Bureau County Courthouse to protest his arrest. Boekeloo was taken into custody Saturday evening after fire broke out at Tanks/Boek-el-Zoo in Princeton and police said he disregarded orders to stop entering the building.
A group of friends of Jimmy Boekeloo gathered Sunday at the Bureau County Courthouse to protest his arrest. Boekeloo was taken into custody Saturday evening after fire broke out at Tanks/Boek-el-Zoo in Princeton and police said he disregarded orders to stop entering the building.

PRINCETON — A Hennepin man was arrested Saturday during a fire in downtown Princeton for refusing orders to stay out of the building, according to authorities.

James Boekeloo, the brother of Tanks/Boek-el-Zoo owner Lori Boekeloo, was taken into custody after police said he attempted several times to enter the building to rescue animals while firefighters were actively fighting the blaze. He also is accused of having struck or shoved a Princeton police officer.

Boekeloo was taken to Bureau County Jail as a result of the incident.

Bureau County State’s Attorney Geno Caffarini on Sunday afternoon said he still is reviewing charges from the incident.

On Sunday, a group of people gathered at the courthouse to protest Boekeloo’s arrest. One of the group said they planned to protest at the courthouse Monday when Boekeloo was scheduled to go before a judge.

One of the men, James Shurts, said they came to the courthouse to protest in support of their friend.

“That was his sister’s store, and he’s not going to stand there and let them stop him,” he said.

Attorney Kristen McDaniel, who was present, said she will be representing Boekeloo pro-bono. McDaniel said attorney Brad Popurella also stepped forward to take his case.

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