CHICAGO (CBS) — Formal charges are expected against an off-duty Chicago police officer who crashed his car into a Gresham restaurant, killing a woman inside.
The officer was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, but he has not yet been identified by the Chicago Police Department.
However, records indicate the owner of the car that smashed into Tony’s Philly Steak has a history of recent moving violations.
“It’s important that people know I expect officers to adhere to a higher standard,” said CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson. “When they don’t then they’ll be held accountable for it. I can assure you there’s no game playing, no trying to hide that information. I can assure you when the times comes for us to release that information we’ll do it.”
Investigators said the 24-year-old officer’s blood alcohol level was .083, which is just over the legal limit, when he crashed into the restaurant at the corner of 87th and Wood around 2:45 Sunday morning.
He said he was driving east on 87th Street when another car heading west turned in front of him, and he swerved to avoid the vehicle. The off-duty officer made a sharp turn, jumped the curb and hit the building.
State records show the car belongs to a Chicago man, who, according to the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board, is currently working as a police officer.
That man, according to Cook County Circuit Court traffic records, was issued two moving violations in 2018.
The first was in February for speeding more than 20 mph over the speed limit. He was driving the same 2018 Toyota that was buried in the rubble from the restaurant over the weekend.
Then in April 2018 the driver was cited for using a cell phone while driving.
In both cases the officer completed four hours of Traffic Safety School, and the violations were removed from his driving record.
At last check, the off-duty officer was being held at the 22nd District Police Station. He was arrested for driving for driving under the influence, but additional charges could be pending.
Chicago police have 48 hours to charge the off-duty officer in the case. Johnson said he would e identified at that time.