GRAYSLAKE, Ill. (STMW) — Grayslake Police Chief Matt McCutcheon was in an accident in Kenosha County last Friday and was arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated and being armed while intoxicated.
McCutcheon, 46, of Grayslake was driving with his wife around 9:45 p.m. eastbound on County Highway C and was turning southbound onto Route 45 when he turned too wide and struck another vehicle head-on.
There were no injuries in the accident and the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department officer who responded to the scene said McCutcheon was swaying back and forth, and he could smell alcohol on his breath and his eyes were red and glassy. He asked McCutcheon if he had anything to drink and McCutcheon replied he had a few beers with dinner.
While he was walking he was swaying from side to side, almost losing his balance, the sheriff’s deputy said in his report. McCutcheon then opened his wallet and showed his police badge, advising the deputy that he was an off- duty police officer from Illinois. He then handed over his driver’s license.
According to the report, at that point the deputy asked him if he was armed and McCutcheon said yes and lifted his shirt exposing a Kimber 9mm handgun. The deputy removed the handgun and noted there was one bullet in the chamber and six in the magazine.
Bristol Township paramedics attempted to render aide to McCutcheon, but he refused. The deputy noted the paramedics wanted to take him to the hospital as a precautionary measure, but he refused and said he was not going to the hospital.
The deputy told him he would be conducting a field sobriety test and McCutcheon said he was refusing everything.
He was then taken into custody for operating while intoxicated and armed while intoxicated.
McCutcheon was transported to Aurora Hospital in Kenosha and asked if he would submit a blood sample and he refused. After a 20-minute observation period where McCutcheon did not eat or drink anything, a phlebotomist came in and drew his blood and the officer took the blood sample as evidence.
He later told the deputy that he was coming from the Twin Oaks restaurant in Wilmot. He said he had three vodka martinis. His weapon was taken as evidence and he was also informed that his license would be automatically revoked for refusing the sobriety test.
Another deputy interviewed a witness who said McCutcheon’s black Honda was behind her and was speeding up and slowing down several times. She told the deputy he was “driving like an a–hole” and that he flashed his bright lights at her.
At the intersection of County Highway C and Route 45, she stopped, and it appeared he was going to follow her eastbound when the dark vehicle squealed its tires and made a sharp turn to go south on Route 45, the report says. She watched it strike another vehicle already in the intersection in her rearview mirror. She called police and turned around to see if there were any injuries.
Another witness told the deputy McCutcheon appeared to make a last-minute decision to turn onto Route 45 and was going way too fast. That witness also said it looked like he accelerated into the turn and lost control due to speed. She said he appeared dazed and confused after the crash.
Neither Grayslake Village Manager Michael Ellis nor Grayslake Mayor Rhett Taylor responded to email or telephone calls for a response to the chief’s accident and his present status with the department.
The Grayslake Village Board has called an executive session meeting for 7 p.m. Thursday that had not been planned.
McCutcheon was the interim police chief until February when he was named chief. Mayor Taylor recommended him saying that because of his 20 years of outstanding public service to the Grayslake community he had earned the job.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)