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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Press Release

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Willowbrook Juvenile Charged With Shooting Friend in Chest/Attempting to Disarm Deputy Sheriff

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin and DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick announced today that charges have been filed against a Willowbrook juvenile for allegedly shooting a friend in the chest while showing him a gun. The juvenile is also charged with punching a police officer who was investigating the alleged shooting. This morning, Judge Brian Jacobs ordered the juvenile to be detained until at least his next court appearance. In all he faces one count of Reckless Discharge of a Firearm (Class 4 felony), one count of Attempt Disarming a Police Officer (Class 2 Felony) and two counts of Aggravated Battery to a Police Officer (Class 2 Felony.)

On the morning of June 22, 2020, officers were dispatched to an apartment located in Willowbrook for a gunshot victim. Upon their arrival, officers found the victim suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest. The victim was transported to a local hospital for treatment and is expected to recover. It is alleged that while the defendant was handling the gun, his mother attempted to disarm him at which time the gun discharged, striking the victim in the chest. It is further alleged that as the victim was about to be transported, the defendant punched a sheriff’s deputy in the face and placed another sheriff’s deputy in a chokehold from behind and attempted to steal his firearm.

“It is alleged that the defendant’s recklessness endangered his friend’s life,” Berlin said. “Additionally, the allegations that the defendant then physically attacked a deputy at the scene and tried to disarm another deputy I find particularly troubling. This type of behavior will not be tolerated, and anyone accused of such behavior will quickly find themselves facing serious felony charges. I would like to thank the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office for their efforts in keeping a bad situation from potentially turning much worse. I would also like to thank Assistant State’s Attorney Nick Catizone for his work in securing charges against this defendant.”

“It is disheartening that anyone would react that way toward an officer who is trying to help. That behavior simply cannot be tolerated,” Mendrick said. “I would like to express my appreciation for the professionalism demonstrated by my deputies during this horribly volatile incident.”

The defendant’s next court appearance is scheduled for July 1, 2020, for status in front of Judge Anthony Coco.

Members of the public are reminded that this complaint contains only charges and is not proof of the defendant’s guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.