Reporting Bernie Tafoya
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JOLIET, Ill. (CBS) — The son of a Will County Board member finds himself in legal hot water after an alleged road rage incident this week.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, Joliet police say the apparent road rage incident involved a Pontiac Grand Am driven by Michael Borrego, 23, cutting off a blue Saturn sport-utility vehicle a couple of times near Marion Street and Raynor Avenue in Joliet.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports
A passenger in the Grand Am hurled a 44-ounce cup of pop into the SUV and spilled it on three people inside. Borrego then began following the SUV to the 800 block of Dellmar Avenue in Joliet, where he cut it off again, police said.
At that point, the SUV rear-ended Borrego’s Grand Am. The driver tried to speed off, but didn’t realize a 19-year-old passenger in the SUV had gotten out.
Alex Wilhelmi, 21, who is the son of Will County Board member Steve Wilhelmi, had been in the Grand Am. He began whipping the 19-year-old with a belt, while Borrego and another passenger – Daniel Duffy, 22 – punched and kicked him.
Neighbors called 911, and one man reportedly came out of his house and chased the three men from the Grand Am with a baseball bat. Another neighbor pulled a car behind the Grand Am to keep the three from escapintg.
But Duffy and Borrego ran toward that car. Duffy reached in the window and punched the driver in the face, broke the key off the ignition and began pulling on the door frame.
Police finally arrived and arrested all three. The victim from the SUV and the driver who blocked the Grand Am suffered “minor injuries,” police said, but weren’t hospitalized.
Wilhelmi, Borrego and Duffy all appeared Monday before Judge James Egan. He set bail at $2,000 for Wilhelmi, who faces one misdemeanor battery count, and $7,500 for Borrego and Duffy, who each face two.
Records show Borrego also collected several traffic tickets for reckless driving, driving without insurance, driving through stop signs and failing to use his turn signal.
Wilhelmi’s father, Will County Board member Steve Wilhelmi (D-Joliet), also attended the hearing. He told the judge he planned to hire a private attorney. Later, he said he still had no idea what led to his son’s arrest, only that the incident involved “some kind of road rage and a fight.”
Steve Wilhelmi is the brother of former state Sen. A.J. Wilhelmi (D-Crest Hill.)
A spokesman for the Will County State’s Attorney said a special prosecutor will be sought to handle the case once officials confirm the family relationship.
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.)