Sheriff’s Police Arrest 65 In Domestic-Violence Sweep

(CBS) – Cook County sheriff’s police fanned out to arrest domestic-violence suspects in what the authorities call a “Mother’s Day surprise.”

CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli went along for the ride.

Up rickety stairs, in narrow gangways and alleys and in houses and apartments, the sheriff’s department was on a mission this week.

“We’re trying to send a message that domestic violence will not be tolerated in Cook County,” says Robert O’Neill, assistant director of the Central Warrants Unit.

With that in mind, dozens of heavily armed officers over four days converged on the last known addresses of 90 suspects.

Their forceful knocks sometimes led to cooperation, and sometimes to outright hostility.

Sometimes they led to arrests, as was the case with one man who police say is wanted for hitting his girlfriend.

One suspect was nowhere to be found when the team arrived. But while driving through the neighborhood a couple of hours later a man matching his description was spotted on a bike.

And he wasn’t eager to identify himself.

“He wouldn’t tell us his name and at first refused to put his hands behind his back,” O’Neill says.

Then police found an ID on the man, and an arrest was made.

Police say serving warrants is unpredictably dangerous because they never know how the target might react to the prospect of imminent incarceration.

Sixty-five domestic-abuse suspects were arrested this week.

For Stanley Lofton, it was his 61st arrest.  Sheriff’s police said Ronald Skipper was arrested for the 57th time; his rap sheet includes offenses such as rape, burglary, drug- and weapons-related offenses and attempting to disarm a police officer.

Then there was Alexis Sierra, whose alleged victim was a two-year-old child.

There were 27 additional arrests on a variety of charges.  One was Terry Strickland of Dolton, who was wanted on an Indiana warrant alleging child molestation.

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