The Cook County State’s Attorney has filed aggravated battery charges against Michael Hart, the Skokie Police Officer who slammed a female DUI suspect into a bench in the police station lockup, which I blogged about here.
According to the Chicago Tribune:
The officer, Michael Hart, 43, was charged today with felony aggravated battery and official misconduct in the incident, according to Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez’s office. The woman, who was in police custody after a drunken driving arrest last March, suffered facial fractures that required surgery and other injuries, according to authorities and also to a civil lawsuit the woman, Cassandra Feuerstein of Chicago, filed against the village of Skokie.
According to the state’s attorney, Hart, of Gurnee, became irate after the woman repeatedly disregarded his commands while he was trying to get her fingerprints and mug shot. The officer then “grabbed her forcibly by the arm,” pulled her toward a cell, then used both hands to shove her into the cell, the state’s attorney’s press release states.
The woman face and head slammed into a concrete bench, fracturing a facial bone, loosening some teeth and causing a deep cut to the face, official said. In addition to the surgery, she has suffered vision and dental problems since, the release says.
Hart’s lawyer, Jed Stone, said he was ordered held on $75,000 bond at Cook County court today, but that his family plans to post his bail. Judge Israel Desierto also ordered Hart to surrender all firearms.
[According to his attorney,] “He cannot believe after 19 years of serving Skokie that his career has come to an arrest,” Stone said. “I don’t think pushing her into a cell is a crime … this is not slamming the victim.”