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PARK RIDGE, Ill. (STMW) – A Park Ridge police lieutenant who’s been on administrative leave since 2010 while awaiting trial for allegedly beating two teenagers will soon be back patrolling the streets after a Cook County judge on Wednesday dismissed his case.
Jason Leavitt was charged in Nov. 2010 with aggravated battery and official misconduct for allegedly beating the teens and continuing to beat one of them even after he lost consciousness.
But on Wednesday, Judge Nicholas Ford dismissed Leavitt’s case.
Sally Daly, spokeswoman for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office, said the office is reviewing its options on whether to appeal the case. She said Leavitt’s original indictment on aggravated battery and official misconduct charges were sealed so the state’s attorney’s office could pursue a deeper investigation into possibly more charges.
But that investigation didn’t yield any more information and no other charges were developed, Daly said.
Prosecutors alleged the two 15-year-old boys smashed Leavitt’s car window with a slingshot in the early morning hours of Oct. 28, 2006. At the time, the boys had been having a sleepover and were out traipsing around a nearby cemetery, according to civil suit filed in the case in 2007.
In court, prosecutors said Leavitt was driving home from a night watchman job at Maine South High School when a projectile smashed one of his windows. Leavitt jumped out of his car and chased down one of the teens, striking him so hard that he knocked him out, prosecutors alleged.
The victim “states that when he regained consciousness, he was on the ground on his back, with the defendant straddling him and punching him in the face,” Cook County State;s Attorney Mike Golden said during Leavitt’s bond proceeding. Leavitt then caught up with the second youth — after other Park Ridge officers had handcuffed him — and kicked him in the head, Golden said. After the second youth had been put in the back of a police squad car, Leavitt punched and choked him, prosecutors say.
The families of both youths filed lawsuits against the city of Park Ridge, Leavitt and several of the police officers who responded to the 2006 incident. The city has since settled with both families, paying out about $180,000 in one of the cases, said Nancy Gleason, the attorney for both boys.
Leavitt has been on administrative leave from the Park Ridge Police Dept. since Nov. 2010 but will return to duty status, Park Ridge Chief of Police Frank Kaminski said in a statement released Thursday. Steps will be taken to reintegrate him into the department, he said.
Kaminski said he’s ready to begin an internal investigation into the matter “as soon as information regarding the case can be provdied” by the FBI and the state’s attorney’s office.
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