NILES, Ill. (STMW) — Sean Dailey allegedly pulled a Reese Witherspoon when he was stopped for speeding and running a red light in northwest suburban Niles.
“Do you know who I am?” Cook County prosecutors said the tipsy off-duty tactical Chicago Police officer boasted, slurring his words in the early morning hours of Nov. 5, 2010.
As soon as Niles Police Officer Brian Zagorski confirmed that Dailey was a city cop, he decided to let him go as long as he didn’t drive himself home.
No ticket. No field-sobriety tests.
But it wasn’t a big enough break for Dailey, who decided to make a phony phone call to 911, and report a rowdy 50-person bar fight so he could distract Zagorski and drive away, Assistant State’s Attorney Lynn McCarthy said Wednesday at the opening of Dailey’s bench trial for disorderly conduct.
Zagorski testified that Dailey was driving over 60 mph near Milwaukee and Jonquil when he pulled him over in a nearby parking lot.
The Jefferson Park District officer’s black Chevy Tahoe reeked of alcohol and he had bloodshot, glassy eyes, the suburban officer said.
Zagorski wanted to grant Dailey “professional courtesy” and first offered to give him a ride home.
Dailey took a pass, Zagorski said.
Dailey also allegedly refused to call a cab or a colleague for a ride.
“He became more frustrated. He said he was a 16th District tactical officer who handled narcotics cases. He said we were on the same team and that we were treating him like a n – – – – -,” Zagorski said.
Dailey eventually persuaded Zagorski that he was going to walk to a nearby motel where he planned on making a call for a ride.
Zagorski said he watched from a gas station as Dailey came in and out of the motel before he made his way to Zagorski’s squad car and again asked if he could drive himself home.
“The answer is still no,” Zagorski said he told Dailey.
Dailey went back to the motel and Zagorski saw him hovering around the building’s door.
That’s when Zagorski allegedly got the dispatcher’s call about the wild cocaine-fueled fight at Here’s Cheers, at 8006 W. Oakton.
Zagorski said he sped off, and when he learned the report was false, he made a U-turn and drove back to the spot on Milwaukee Avenue where Dailey’s SUV had been parked.
It was gone.
In a recorded call played in Judge William Lacy’s courtroom Wednesday, Dailey was heard telling a 911 dispatcher his friends were calling “screaming” to tell him about the bar fight. He could be heard telling the female dispatcher that he wasn’t at the bar, but in a later call made by the dispatcher, he said, “I saw it. I got out because I didn’t want to be there.”
McCarthy noted that phone records at the time indicated that Dailey didn’t dial or receive any calls from anyone except 911.
But defense attorney Michael Clancy argued that Dailey could have received the panicked calls about the fight on another cellphone he carried.
There’s no proof that Dailey took off in his Chevy or lied about the bar brawl, Clancy said in his closing arguments. “There could have been a bar fight,” he said.
However, McCarthy said Dailey just let his “ego and self-pride” get the best of him after a night of drinking.
“How dare these suburban cops tell Sean Dailey what to do. He’s Sean Dailey after all,” the prosecutor said sarcastically as Dailey, 35, looked on.
Lacy is expected to issue a verdict on the case on July 11.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)