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Former Tinley Park Cop Admits To Driving Drunk In Crash

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A police officer conducts a breathalyzer test.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A police officer conducts a breathalyzer test. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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