Former Tinley Park Cop Admits To Driving Drunk In Crash

JOLIET, Ill. (CBS) — A former Tinley Park Police officer admitted to a Will County judge that he left the scene of a drunken driving accident nearly a year ago.

As WBBM Newsradio’s David Roe reports, John Leonard, 38, now faces up to seven years in prison.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s David Roe reports

Leonard resigned after the accident in the 20600 block of South LaGrange Road in Frankfort around 1:15 a.m. on May 1 of last year. He was off-duty, but driving a village-owned sport-utility vehicle.

In the crash, Leonard rear-ended a Buick near Lincoln-Way Lane and did not stop. A passenger in the car was treated and released from St. James Hospital and Health Care Center in Olympia Fields.

Police officers who arrested Leonard say they found a glass of Guinness beer lying in the vehicle, the Sun-Times reported. His handgun was sitting between his legs, and he also had several boxes of ammunition and other police gear with him.

“So what, I’m a Tinley cop,” Leonard said, according to police.

His blood alcohol level was found to be more than twice the legal limit, the newspaper reported.

He also taunted the officer who arrested him, calling the officer a “ticket-writing cop” and claiming to be “the real police,” police said. At Silver Cross Hospital, where he was taken for blood and urine tests after being turned over to the Frankfort police, reports said Leonard told officers they should be taking care of him.

Leonard pleaded guilty Thursday before Will County Judge Edward Burmila to failure to report an accident involving personal injury, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, DUI and various traffic offenses. Though he could be sentenced to as many as seven years in prison, he’s also eligible for probation.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • Army Vet,VN

    And to say this clown was patroling the streets of Tinley Park.

  • Army Vet,VN

    Was he still celebrating St. Patricks Day and the parade,by his last name I think he was,what do you expect when thats all you hear from January to December,

  • Dan the Man

    Karma is a “XXX”. This is what you get when young people are not put in the place and instead have smoke blown up their you know what for years by parents, friends etc. They grow to be big clowns who think they are better than others and above it all. It all caught up with Leonard.

  • zatso

    If only people could have the comments and articles that were available when this story broke. Stupidity abounded among all those involved.

    Even more stupidity exists in the fact that this officer can possibly receive PROBATION. I’m sure the officer wants that, but do we want it?



  • Grayson

    It took this incident for the light bulb to go off in Leonard’s head that maybe he should start loosing the attitude? These regrets could have been avoided had he just gotten real years ago.

  • Jon Z

    Looks like Leonard’s hot mouth has put him some very hot water.

  • ChiBears

    Let’s see, hit and run, lying about the car damage, driving a village vehicle off hours out of town (while intoxicated) with open alcohol in addition to a gun and ammunition also in the wide open….Oh wait, there is more…asking to be let go because he is “a cop”, calling the other cop “a ticket writing cop” – along with everything else that was said by this not-so-fine former officer….this is disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. Hope he gets seven years with no probation.

    LEONARD – you deserve it.

    • zatso


      Jail immediately!


  • MNMike

    This whole incident is a great example of “you reap what you sow”.

  • ThatsAll

    Excuse me? The New Lenox cops should have been “taking care of him” according to Leonard. No, I think the prison guards should be taking care of him.

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