Retired Cop Charged With Threats In Fox Lake Case Released On Bond

CHICAGO (CBS) — A retired Chicago police officer was released from jail after posting bond on Tuesday, the Associated Press reports.

Earlier in the day, Joseph Battaglia made an unsuccessful bid for reduced bail on charges he threatened Lake County officials investigating the shooting death of Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz.

Battaglia was ordered held on $100,000 bond, meaning he must come up with $10,000 to get out of jail.

His attorney, Myron Goldstin, told a Lake County judge the retired officer might have committed “a very stupid, reckless act,” but said Battaglia is not a flight risk, or a danger to the public.

“Mr. Battaglia is not a violent person. He has never harmed anyone, and I believe if he did make the statements that he’s alleged to have made, they were made out of frustration, because, as a former police officer, he was naturally – as everyone else is – concerned about the investigation,” Goldstin told reporters afterward.

The judge denied the request for lower bail, citing the seriousness of the charges.

Battaglia, 54, is charged with two counts of felony disorderly conduct. Police have said he made threatening phone calls to authorities investigating Gliniewicz’s death. He allegedly threatened to harm investigators in the case, including officials with the Lake County Coroner, and the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force, unless Gliniewicz’s death was ruled a homicide. Battaglia has not had any involvement with the investigation.

A 25-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, Battalgia retired in 2012. Goldstin said he has no criminal background.

Goldstin also said Battaglia had no insight on the Fox Lake case that would point to Gliniewicz’s death being a suicide, and said he has not heard any tapes of Battaglia’s alleged threats, so doesn’t know exactly what was said.

“I don’t know if there was anything said about suicide,” he said.

The Lake County Sheriff’s office has said additional charges are possible as they continue to investigate Battaglia’s phone calls.

Battaglia was due back in court on October 6.

Gliniewicz was shot and killed Sept. 1, after radioing that he was investigating suspicious activity, and had begun chasing three suspects. A few minutes after other officers arrived on the scene to back him up, they found Gliniewicz’s body in a marshy area near U.S. Route 12 and Sayton Road.

Lake County Coroner Thomas Rudd has said Gliniewicz died of a single “devastating” gunshot wound, but it has not yet been determined if the wound was the result of homicide, suicide, or an accident. Rudd said investigators are awaiting analysis of gunshot residue in an effort to determine if the gunshot was from close range.

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