JOLIET, Ill. (STMW) — The son of a Will County Board member is accused of whipping a man with a belt Sunday in Joliet in a road rage incident that police said was fueled by a thrown soda.

It all started about 10:30 p.m. when a Pontiac Grand Am driven by 23-year-old Manuel Borrego cut off a Saturn sport utility vehicle near Marion Street and Raynor Avenue, Joliet Police Chief Mike Trafton said.

He said a passenger in Borrego’s car threw a 44-ounce soda cup into the SUV, spilling it on the three people inside, and Borrego then followed the SUV to the 800 block of Dellmar Avenue. Borrego again cut off the SUV, which rear-ended his car, and the SUV driver tried to speed away but didn’t realize that a 19-year-old passenger had hopped out, Trafton said.

A passenger in Borrego’s car, Alex S. Wilhelmi, 21, began whipping the 19-year-old with a belt, police said, while Borrego and Daniel G. Duffy, 22, punched and kicked him.

Residents saw the fight and called 911, with one man reportedly wielding a baseball bat to fend off the three men from the Grand Am while another neighbor pulled a car behind the Grand Am to keep it from driving away, according to police.

Trafton said Duffy and Borrego ran toward the neighbor’s car, and Duffy reached through the window and punched the driver in the face and broke the key off in the ignition. Police arrived and arrested Wilhelmi, Borrego and Duffy, while the victim and the neighbor who blocked the Grand Am suffered “minor injuries,” police said.

Wilhelmi, the son of county board member Steve Wilhelmi, faces a misdemeanor battery charge; Borrego and Duffy each face two counts. Records show Borrego also received tickets for reckless driving, driving without insurance and running stop signs.

Steve Wilhelmi attended court Monday, telling the judge he planned to hire a private attorney for his son. Steve Wilhelmi is the brother of former state Sen. A.J. Wilhelmi.

A spokesman for the state’s attorney’s office said a special prosecutor will be sought to handle the case.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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