Chicago cop bashed in back of head with wooden flagpole as he lies face-down in street

News & Politics

A Chicago police officer was struck in the back of the head with a wooden flagpole as he was lying face-down in a street over the weekend.

What are the details?

Prosecutors on Sunday charged Arturo Rodriguez, 46, with a felony count of aggravated battery of a peace officer, the Chicago Tribune reported. They alleged Rodriguez on Saturday hit a police officer lying on the ground in the back of the head with the wooden flagpole as officers tried to pursue and arrest two teens, the paper said, citing court records.

CWB Chicago said the attack was captured on video:

The Tribune, citing a police report, said officers had been blocking traffic at the corner of West 26th Street and South Homan Avenue before the attack occurred around 1 a.m.

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Vehicles with flags were in the streets throughout the neighborhood of Little Village for Mexican Independence Day, the paper said.

More from the Tribune:

The attack occurred after a 16-year-old had been shooting a gel pellet “Orbeez” toy gun at passing cars, the police report said. The teen also fired the toy’s light, squishy, water-absorbing gel balls at a squad car, it continued.

Officers asked the teen to stop, and he began to fire the gel balls at two Illinois state police officers “causing pain,” the report said. Police again demanded he stop. The teen fled as police tried to arrest him, the report continued.

Police pursued and caught the teen. As officers tried to place him into custody, a 15-year-old began to also fire gel pellets at their faces.

As officers chased after the fleeing 15-year-old, an unknown attacker struck an officer on the right side of his head with a heavy wooden flagpole, the paper said, citing the police report, adding that the blow caused a deep cut to the officer’s right ear, “which began to bleed profusely.”

The Tribune, citing the police report, added that as another officer was lying on the ground “defenseless,” Rodriguez allegedly struck the officer with a wooden flagpole in the back of the head and neck, which caused bruising and swelling.

Police arrested Rodriguez at the scene, the paper said, adding court records show that Judge Maryam Ahmad on Sunday set Rodriguez’s bail at $65,000, which means he has to post $6,500 to be released with electronic monitoring.

“According to the people, this officer’s laying face down in the street,” the judge said, according to CWB Chicago, and that Rodriguez is accused of hitting the officer in “one of the most vulnerable parts” of the body.

The Tribune reported that Rodriguez pleaded guilty in February 2020 to a domestic violence charge accusing him of putting his hands on a teen daughter’s neck, causing red marks, and that he completed a probation term in January 2021.

Rodriguez’s next court appearance is scheduled for Friday, the paper added.

More from the Tribune:

Amid the attacks and arrests, an unknown person threw a glass bottle that struck a state police officer in the head as more police responded to the attacks, the report said.

The officers who were struck by the flagpoles transported themselves to Mt. Sinai Hospital, where one of them “received 30 stitches to repair his right ear and reconnect it,” the report continued.

The 16-year-old arrested at the scene was placed into the custody of child services, the report said. He had caused an officer to fall to the ground while attempting to pull away while handcuffed, according to the report.

CWB Chicago, citing a Chicago police spokesperson, reported that a 16-year-old male arrested at the scene is charged with two counts of aggravated battery of a peace officer and two counts of misdemeanor resisting.

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