Last week’s trial and conviction of the Algonquin Police sergeant got me thinking about a battery that occurred in Woodstock two years ago, when one deputy got battered by another after a big drinking party. And how the injured deputy was persuaded not to call the Woodstock Police. And how nothing got into the newspapers about it.
After I heard about it soon after it occurred, I talked to Woodstock Police Chief Bob Lowen, and he told me that he didn’t know anything about it. As I recall, he sent a detective to the sheriff’s department to find out about it, and he later told me that the detective had not been able to learn anything. As in, it must not really have happened…
Over the past two years I have received information from several people who knew about it.
Judge for yourself about deputies being intoxicated and committing battery and causing “bodily harm.” And then decide whether you think Judge Graham’s decision last week was fair. Of course, you probably didn’t sit through two days of the trial. Actually, I know you didn’t, because I did. In spite of NO testimony by the alleged victim of any battery, the cop was convicted on one count of domestic battery.
Here is what happened.
On January 27, 2007, there was a big cop bash at the Red Mill Inn on Lake Avenue in Woodstock. It was described to me as a night of “serious drinking.”
A sergeant held a birthday party at the Red Mill. He was advised not to have the party, because the department had attracted adverse attention from the Anderson DUI squad car crash in Crystal Lake. But a birthday is a birthday, and the party was on.
At least one other sergeant and a lieutenant were at the party. When the party ended, all left. This last sergeant reportedly could not walk unassisted from the bar. This last sergeant's girlfriend could barely walk, but she drove.
I’ve joked for years about, “Ossifer, I had to drive. I wush in no condition to walk.”
Two female deputies followed behind the above car on Route 47. The vehicle driven by this last sergeant's girlfriend hit a curb on Route 47, went into an embankment and back onto the road and over the center line.
The two female deputies were behind that car and the driver flashed her headlights and honked the horn. The sergeant's girlfriend pulled over. One of the female deputies talked to the sergeant, who told her that he would drive. One of the female deputies started to get into the driver's seat to prevent that sergeant from driving. (Remember - he was the one who couldn’t walk to the car unassisted.) He yelled at her, grabbed her arm and threw her to the ground, bruising her. All was witnessed.
The female deputy and the sergeant argued more, and the sergeant let the female deputy drive.
The first sergeant (the birthday celebrant) and the lieutenant wouldn't do anything about it, so it was reported to another sergeant. There was an investigation, and the sergeant who knocked down the female deputy may have gotten a 30-day suspension but it didn't go to the Merit Commission. The female deputies were made to look the bad guys for ratting out the male deputies.
The female deputy who was knocked down and bruised was "persuaded" not to make a report with Woodstock P.D.
You see, this is how cop misbehavior gets covered up. The public never hears about it, because cops don’t file charges against other cops (usually). It gets handled internally, and nothing goes to the papers. After all, they have to work together, and it’s not good for your advancement if you break the Code of Silence.
This is the kind of law enforcement we have in McHenry County! The public must demand a cleaner operation in McHenry County. What kind of double standard exists when a deputy witnesses a drunk driver-friend or is the victim of battery by a deputy and takes no action?
Can any of those deputies be an effective or believable witness ever again in court?