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Man Accused of Beating Mother with Bat Charged with Attempted Murder

Police say Joseph Conrad staged the incident to look like a break-in at the family home, located near Caton Farm and County Line roads.

A 20-year-old man who allegedly beat his mother into unconsciousness with a baseball bat and then staged the scene to look like a home invasion was charged with attempted murder Tuesday morning.

Joseph P. Conrad has confessed to the attack, which took place at about 8 a.m. Monday at the 2317 Hastings Drive home the two shared, according to a release issued by the Joliet Police Department. 

Kathleen Conrad, 43, is in critical condition at Provena St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet. Her son, a 2009 graduate of Plainfield South High School, has been charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery, aggravated domestic battery and obstructing justice.

Joseph Conrad called 911 at about 2:10 p.m. Monday to report that he found his mother lying on the living room floor, the release said. The home, located near Caton Farm and County Line roads, is almost directly across the street from 's Meadow View Elementary School and is located in Joliet despite its Plainfield address.

In the six hours between the attack and the time it was reported, Conrad "went about his normal business throughout the day," according to news release issued by the department. The Will County jail booking sheet lists Conrad's occupation as "referee."

Kathleen Conrad suffered severe facial injuries as well as broken fingers, hands and nose in the attack. She underwent surgery to relieve brain swelling, the release said.

A window on the northwest side of the house was broken, and the victim's pants unbuttoned and pulled down, the release said.

When police found inconsistencies in Joseph Conrad's story, he was brought to the police station, where he admitted he had become "aggravated with his mother over various issues and struck her numerous times times to the head with a baseball bat," the news release said.

He broke out the window and attempted to stage the scene to look like a home invasion before calling police, the release said.

Police obtained a warrant to search the house and were able to recover the bat believed used in the crime and other evidence.

Conrad is being held in the Will County jail; no bond has been set.

Nancy Stolpestad Conrad December 07, 2011 at 06:07 PM
NO! He is no relation to any of the Conrad's at Conrad's Harley Davidson. Shell sea is inaccurate in saying that his Uncle owns the store.
J. December 07, 2011 at 06:09 PM
Don't pretend to know him and his family. You didn't walk in their shoes. There is no going back, only forward. Pray that God would heal each one of the family members; that He would be there when and if this mom regains consciousness as it is going to be horrendous for her to deal with the reality. Pray that God comfort and care for them through other people. We all reap what we sow. Joseph Conrad will suffer the consequences of his actions. But how sad it is to know there are people in this world capable of such hatred.
Plainfield Resident December 07, 2011 at 06:40 PM
I agree J. And, if he continues to have that sort of outlook on life and dealing w/ his issues that way - he too will be visiting the WC Jail! What is wrong w/ todays kids???!!! ...and some of the parents for that matter. This is the 2nd kid I've heard of w/in the past few months from PSHS who is in jail for serious crimes!
P. December 07, 2011 at 08:20 PM
I really don't think anyone has the right to judge this family...unless you lived with them. Let's just pray for healing and peace. Their world will never be the same.
the thruth December 07, 2011 at 10:02 PM
Pray for the mother's recovery and that school district will get real with handling the issues mentioned in the comments here. After working in the district and witnessing the politics involved, I can see how issues are overlooked..
K December 07, 2011 at 10:03 PM
It is only for God to judge. No one knows but the family, what went on in their daily lives, but whatever the situation was, this was definitley to the extreme. Obviously something snapped in the mind of this boy and he needs to be put away. As for the rest of the family they all need our prayers.
D December 07, 2011 at 10:05 PM
My only concern at this point is all of this sudden violence in the Cumberland subdivision. It normally is a very quite and safe place to be. Being a resident myself I'm frightened to even leave my house now. This is the second PSHS student that has gotten into a very serious altercation in this subdivision. I've witnessed one of our residents get attacked in the middle of the street about 2 months ago. A bunch of kids jumped the father of another student that these children had a problem with beat him, and struck him with a wooden object and put him in critical condition with a concussion. There is still blood on the street, kids these days are relentless and I don't want my family subject to any of this nonsense. I knew JP from school, and saw him around the subdivision a few times. He was an odd gentleman, and very obviously troubled. Regardless, It's no excuse to go ahead and do such a thing all because your mother takes away your car keys. If you're gonna live under your parents roof when you're an adult, you're still expected to follow the rules. Just because you're 20 years old, and a man now doesn't nullify the fact that your parents are paying to put that roof over your head, the food in your stomach, the water for you to shower, and the electricity for you to play your Modern Warfare game.This kid thought he had it hard in school, just wait until he gets to prison.
mario December 07, 2011 at 11:56 PM
South, North, Central, East. We have these kids in every high school.
Kyle Fitzgerald December 08, 2011 at 04:15 AM
no one went out of their way to bully this kid from what i know. he went out of his way to pick a fight with anyone and everyone. if people "bullied" him, then it was something along the lines of "stop acting tough, your not". i kid you not, this is how it was when i saw him from 8th grade till my senior year of high school. i know kids that were seriously bullied and im not going to say names, but JP wasnt one of them. he brought this upon himself.
sharpy December 08, 2011 at 02:09 PM
Plainfield schools have harable ways of handling the students that go there I went there and trust me all the kids I know that went there are not making anything of them selfs drugs drop outs and crimes wait to go plainfield and district 202 another student just proved that
Plainfield Resident December 08, 2011 at 02:16 PM
HOW may I ask is Plainfield Schools responsible for this young mans actions? This man is responsible for his own actions. He knows right from wrong - and if he doesn't, then that blame is to be placed on those that raised him, but I am sure they taught him that. This is a classic act of a sick mind - all because he didn't get what he wanted from a parent. No person in the right mind beats their mother (or father) to the point that he did. Plainfield Schools has nothing to do with this. There is no one to blame but himself, so quit pointing fingers - people always have to find others to blame for their own actions. If Plainfield HS is to blame for this, then who's to blame for all the other school shootings, murders etc.? Seriously? Who will you blame when you get into trouble - no matter how minor or severe??
CHP December 08, 2011 at 03:52 PM
What seems to be eluding most of the posters here is that the young man appears to have met the standard of sanity in this state. This wasn't something that was spur of the moment and then regretted. It may have begun that way....but he left the scene and then RETURNED to stage it to appear as if her injuries were sustained in an invasion. This clearly speaks to the fact that he knew right from wrong and had a fear of consequence for his actions. He didn’t black out in a clinical rage and them come to, call the police and try to get an ambulance for his mother…he left her there in her own blood and then came back and further humiliated her by staging it to appear to be a home invasion/sexual assault gone wrong. Whether he was bullied at school, at home or had been looked at cross-eyed from a clown at the circus when he was 10 years old, it doesn't matter !! He is an adult who is responsible for his own actions. Does he need some serious help? You betcha - anyone who takes a baseball bat to another human being as a solution to stress or problems is clearly not in possession of coping skills that the rest of us a comfortable with! Blaming the family, the lack of intervention on the part of teachers or neighbors, or the phase of the moon is just plain silly in light of the fact that this young man perpetrated this crime over a prolonged period of hours and was clearly in possession of a moral compass that told him he had done something that was wrong.
CHP December 08, 2011 at 03:53 PM
If there were problems in the family, if they were in denial of the seriousness of a child’s irregular behavior or need for psychological intervention....does that mean that every parent who says " They are just acting out....it will get better when they are older" deserves to have their head bashed in by their own child?? NO!! If that's the case, we have an entire generation of parents who have abdicated the right to have intact craniums. Ponder this question....If this young man had taken that baseball bat and gone into a store and beat a 40 year old mother of 3 who was a stranger to him to the point of critical condition, would you be blaming his victim? Most likely not. To blame the family for this tragedy is like blaming the iceberg for the sinking of the Titanic. Eventually, the guy with his hands on the wheel must be held accountable....or in this case, the baseball bat.
Debbie Eppenstein December 08, 2011 at 07:38 PM
I have 2 PSHS graduates and they are terrific, did they have the best education, NO. Did they have probems in HS. YES. My son is shipping out on Feb 7th and my daughter is going to college and working her butt off. I also know so many students that are doing awesome. PSHS had nothing to do with his problems.
deb December 09, 2011 at 06:39 AM
I feel so bad about this situation.I pray for all involved...I also live in Cumberland...I have a question for " D " When you seen this father being beaten what did you do? Why do we as a community allow this type of behavior? We have to make our neighborhood a place we enjoy and let others know we will not accept this. Keep calling the cops keep lights on watch out for others etc... BTW~ i have two children that went to PSHS and I think for the most part they did keep an eye on things and that Det. keneller (i think ) he would watch out also. I think the problem is sometimes parents attack the school if you get a phone call or email about something your child does ..don't complain right away listen keep your eyes open all kids are not always innocent.I see that so much oh no not my child.. and the kids know that and do what they want because they know that the school can really do nothing. Well anyway .... does anyone know the condition of Kathleen??
deb December 11, 2011 at 07:57 PM
Oh how this story has affected me. I feel so bad for everyone.. and I have heard different things but PLEASE if anyone knows let us know how the mom Kathleen is doing...I pray and pray for this family. I hope and pray that she recovers and that the family can at least get their loved one back.. the road will be hard but much worse is she passed away... and the unresolved questions... yes i know if she makes it it won't change the fact that this occored but they will maybe be able to work through it. No one can judge JP...but God and we will never really know why or what really happened. This should be a wake up call for parents, teachers and others to pay attention and to treat people well an and if you see something wrong please say something!! God Bless
Deanna Cook Sader December 12, 2011 at 02:48 AM
I saw Katie today, along with her husband. She is hanging on. The family surrounds her every single day along with trying to make sense of it all. Her husband is just trying to keep it together. From going to see JP in jail, then to the hospital every day to see his wife and trying to take care of their daughter....it's all so unbelievably overwhelming for him....please pray specifically for his strength, rest, and peace. The family sooo believes in prayer, so please, to all of you that have been praying for this family, please continue to do so...they may not be able to thank everyone that prays, but just know that they really appreciate. Praying is all anyone can do right now.
deb December 12, 2011 at 09:59 PM
Thank You Deanna~I have prayed for just that...what this family must be going through.I hope her husband just trys to take it day by day.. and to accept help from family friends and neighbors. I hate to ask but is she awake? My daughter works at a store around the neighborhood and would see her a lot and said she was awesome and she would have her daughter with her. My daughter would come home and tell me how nice "" this lady "" was she would talk to my daughter often.I will continue to pray for them as well as pray for us all.. please if you don't mind keep us informed thanks again
Colleen Cory-Johansson December 13, 2011 at 01:16 AM
Knowing the family, I think the best thing is to pray for John, Katie, and their entire family.
Deanna Cook Sader December 13, 2011 at 01:40 AM
Deb, no she is not awake and thank you for praying. I'm so sad to read so many horrible comments about this family and JP. Do any of you making judgements even KNOW them? Not just what you 'observe', but do you KNOW them? They are a wonderful family and Katie and John LOVE JP, they are not bad parents. JP is a good kid too...he just kept a lot of feelings to himself, and obviously couldn't keep it in anymore and made a horrific decision.
Bill Bryan December 24, 2011 at 03:08 PM
Agree, Sad & Prayers to the Family...
L December 28, 2011 at 03:31 AM
just checking back in on this story and wondering each and every day if mom is awake?? prayers....
deb January 02, 2012 at 07:48 AM
I just wanted to check and see if there is any improvement on Kathleens condition.... maybe someone should try to start a fundraiser/benifet....has anyone offered help..
Cindy B January 02, 2012 at 05:33 PM
She is awake. She has a long road of recovery ahead of her both physically & mentally. I know the family would appreciate continued prayers for her recovery.
Tammy January 03, 2012 at 07:03 PM
www.caringbridge.org is the site that you can log into and see how she is doing
JB January 03, 2012 at 09:35 PM
Sue, you must either not have children or are one that possesses a crystal ball. It is lovely that you can blame the victim for not seeing the signs, especially since you have the advantage of hind sight. Try praying for the family not speculating on why JP did what he did. Shame on you!
Cindy B January 04, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Deb- There are several fundraisers. There is one here https://www.wepay.com/donate/www.wepay.comkatieconrad?utm_campaign=donations&utm_medium=link&utm_source=facebook&ref_uid=3577681 There is another fund at First National Bank of Illinois donations can be made to; "John Conrad for the benefit of Katie Conrad" or to "First National Bank of Illinois" and can be forwarded to First National Bank of Illinois. First National Bank of Illinois has 8 locations in the Chicagoland area and any location can be used. Any funds received will go into an account that has been set up in John Conrad's name and any inquiries should reference the John Conrad account. The Plainfield Area Chamber of Commerce said they would also take donations & forward them to the bank, but they prefer donations to be sent directly to the bank.
Pam O January 23, 2012 at 04:14 PM
What a horribly tragic story! I am praying for all of them!
J March 19, 2013 at 08:39 PM
This is coming from someone very close to the situation and family and we appreciated all the concerns/prayers from friends and the community. All the family asks is that JP gets the help he truly needs and deserves. JP is still at Will County Jail and could be facing prison time in the next few months. His Mom has recovered almost 100% and they hope that helps JP get less prison time in order to get mental help in the future. JP made a terrible decision and will be punished accordingly but he deserves a future as well.
Plainfield Resident March 20, 2013 at 01:02 PM
didn't help that your son told him to get lost a few times - sounds like he may have been just like the others who 'shunned' him or bullied him. don't you tell your kids to treat those like they'd like to be treated. Shame on you.

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