Charges Against Chicago Police Officer for DUI and Killing Two People Are Dropped — Police Then Arrest Upset Members of Victim’s Family

When off-duty Chicago Police Officer John Ardelean, 36, was involved in a suspected DUI accident on Thanksgiving that killed two people — Miguel Flores, 22, and Erick Lagunas, 21 — he was not arrested immediately after the crash or at the hospital. Instead, a police Lt. John Magruder ordered him arrested hours after the crash when he smelled alcohol on the officer. An judge has now thrown out the charges due to a lack of probable cause. In the ultimate twist, family members of the victims were then arrested when they express outrage at the decision.

This is only the latest story of a Chicago police officer facing allegations of drunk driving,here.

In the case, prosecutors told the court that a video from a nightclub showed Ardelean drinking three beers and four shots in a little more than two hours.

None of the four officers at the scene stated that they smelled alcohol. Testimony indicated that Magruder had talked to an assistant state’s attorney who allegedly told him that Ardelean was under scrutiny for a previous crash in which an officer was not charged with drunken driving. The judge slammed Margruder in the decision.

Critics have attacked Circuit Judge Thomas Gainer as being pro-police in such decisions, including his controversial acquittal of three Chicago police officers in an off-duty beating of several businessmen in a West Loop bar. Gainer is a former Cook County prosecutor.

The charges were previously dropped by the prosecutors against the officer. However, months after the investigation was ended, a video emerged that showed a woman pouring a drink down Ardelean’s throat and the officer grabbing a beer as he left a bar. He was then charged with two counts of reckless homicide and four counts of aggravated DUI.

For the full story, click here.

20 thoughts on “Charges Against Chicago Police Officer for DUI and Killing Two People Are Dropped — Police Then Arrest Upset Members of Victim’s Family

  1. I am tempted to quote Orwell that “some [pigs] are more equal than others,” but decorum prevents me from saying it.

  2. What have pigs ever done that we would have to equate them with immoral creatures like this….

    Pigs would EASILY make more decent human beings than humans do, let alone cops…

    Inviting these men to a quale-hunt with Cheney would be KIND… Maybe a one-way ticket to a Vietnamese Nike-facility…

  3. “This experience has been stressful, but I think he (Officer John Ardelean) sees a light at the end of the tunnel and a chance to start rebuilding his career.”(Ardelean’s defense atty.)

    =================================================================

    Career? Rebuilding? How nice for Ardelean. I wonder when the two young men killed in a Ardelean’s Thanksgiving Day collision will begin to rebuild their lives?

    Perhaps Circuit Judge Thomas Gainer can arrange a resurrection … after all, he certainly revived Ardelean’s life.

  4. Curious to see if Gainer is as kind and generous to the family members of Ardelean’s victims as he was to Ardelean. I won’t hold my breath.

  5. 1) This is a shameful situation, but please stop calling people names like “pigs.”

    2) I drive through the intersection where this crash happened with some frequency. It is an intersection of fairly small, narrow streets, with lots of stop signs in the area. For this guy (the police officer) to have been driving fast enough to kill these two guys is mind boggling, given how those streets are set up. Getting up to 40mph would feel/be astoundingly “aggressive” for those conditions, let alone however fast he actually was going.

    Superintendent Weis loves to give press conferences where he decries the “wall of silence” – that someone in the community knows who committed some crime or other, but no one comes forward to turn them in. These ongoing, repeated situations where police officers clearly commit crimes, which are then covered up by fellow officers, deeply undercuts his credibility. In this case, not only did the officers on the scene make the dubious claim that they didn’t smell alcohol on his breath, they delayed giving him a breathalizer test for 7 hours after the crash. These flagrant and grotesque situations erode support for the police throughout the city, and that’s dangerous for everyone.

  6. If we didn’t have the history of corruption and abuse of political patronage that is emblematic of Chicago, what would we read in novels and watch in the movies. Chicago is clearly an integral link in the media/marketing machinery that drives out country.

  7. This was a horrible decision and it gives the City another black eye when the charges against this criminal were dropped. Can the Feds step in and prosecute this officer for something?

  8. I lived in Chicago for years and the place is totally corrupt. Judges, the people at the recorder of deeds, the tax people, you name it.

    The police are among the worst. It used to be common knowledge that when you got stopped by the Chicago cops for whatever you handed them your driver’s license with a $20 bill wrapped around it. [Due to inflation, I am sure it’s now a $50.] A friend of mine was sexually assaulted and was propositioned by one of the cops in a follow up interview. I could go on.

  9. Chicago has the best Judges money can buy. What more need be said, except what happened to the family’s charges?

  10. THE BLUE WALL OF SILENCE STRENGTHENED & DISTRUST BY MINORITIES OF THE POLICE EMBOLDENED BY A JUDGE’S RULING (Ardelean, deaths of Flores and Luganas)
    Copyright © June 4, 2010
    By Christopher C. Cooper, National Black Police Association

    On June 4, 2010, when Chicago Police Officer John Ardelean walked out of a Chicago courthouse a free man, in the face of evidence that he was drunk when he crashed his SUV and caused the deaths of two Mexican-American men, it became clear that more than 39 years of police reform in the United States was undone in one morning court hearing. For obvious reasons, Ardelean’s case has garnered national attention because of the judge’s comments and ruling. In particular, the judge’s disturbingly harsh criticism of the police lieutenant who ordered Officer Ardelean arrested for drunk driving.
    Lieutenant Magruder’s testimony was that Ardelean smelled of alcohol and had bloodshot eyes. Judge Gainer said that the lieutenant’s testimony was not credible. These public statements by a judge represent a major setback in efforts of police reformers to rid police work in the U.S. of what is known as the “Blue Wall” or “Code of Silence” among other terms. As New York City Police Officer Frank Serpico lay in a pool of blood in 1971, having been shot in the face in an arranged shooting by fellow officers, because he had violated the Code by turning-in corrupt fellow officers, policing in America was about to undergo the most significant alteration since the inception of modern policing in the United States. Serpico was a whistleblower, what crooked cops like to call a snitch. He lived to testify about the Code’s viciousness. Now, approximately 39 years later, Chicago Police Lt. Magruder joins the ranks of the likes of Serpico and host of other courageous, honest officers who have violated the pathologic Police Code of Silence. In 2010, the whistle blowing cop is menaced not by bullets but with “Grudge IAD investigations” and the planting of drugs in his locker or police car. Magruder’s police career his over. There are a few in police ranks who will honor him.
    Judge Gainer chose to believe officers who upheld the Code of Silence— Ardelean’s fellow Chicago officers who said that they had no indication Ardelean was drunk. What followed from Judge Gainer should be described as among the most colossal, naïve interpreations of modern police work documented. Fortunately, there is a body of police scientific literature that documents the phenomenon of cops doing whatever is necessary to protect bad cops.
    Judge Gainer chose to ignore the scientific data. He vehemently disagreed that there was what he called a “conspiracy” among police officers to protect one of their own, namely Officer Ardelean. Judge Gainer wrote: “Everything that happened on the street that morning happened in a very short period of time… There was no time to formulate this conspiracy to protect the defendant.” Any big city cop in America knows that the judge is plain wrong and that his logic is deeply flawed.
    We learn in the police academy never to snitch on another cop. Lessons that follow involve how to “cover-up,” write and speak a police narrative that always supports your fellow officer while always finding fault with the actions of a citizen. The scripts are embedded within us long before we hit the street. The reference to time by Judge Gainer is debuncked by the voluminous scientific literature documenting police subculture in the U.S. The data are joined by countless “tell all” books and articles written by police officers who air police work’s dirty laundry.
    Judge Gainer’s statements and in particular his denouncing of whistleblower Lt. Magruder surely strengthen a lawless blue wall of silence while contemporaneously sending a clear message to “the” honest police officers throughout America that “whistle blowing” by police officers will not be tolerated by many in the judicial community.
    Last but not least, the positions taken by Judge Gainer have further damaged already fragile relationships between police officers and members of minority communities.
    Strangely, Chicago’s Police Superintendent, Jody Weis, is quick to blame citizens for not coming forward with information that could help the police bring criminals to justice. Somehow, he has never acknowledged that mistrust of the police in Mexican and black communities in Chicago is rampant. As Ardelean and fellow officers who violated the public trust celebrate a victory, the deaths of Miguel Flores and Erik Lagunas personify that police and minorities are further apart than ever.

    Christopher C. Cooper, PhD, Spokesperson for the National Black Police Association; a former Washington DC (Metropolitan) Police Officer and United States Marine, is a Civil Rights Attorney who has published extensively of the phenomenon of the police subculture .

  11. Anonymously Yours

    “Chicago has the best Judges money can buy.”

    That is not true. Lake County is worse. Madison County is the worst in the state.

  12. heres more proof the screwed up, all they had to do is find Leonard Cox it would have been over over 4 years ago, he would have proved everything I said and he has the names of the criminals. But the clowns are fucked up like shit.

    I am 40 year old Hispanic male, lived in Chicago all my life and have a clean record. These corrupt cops got me fired from AT&T intentionally, they made up I was homosexual and other nasty false rumors and I got harassed for over year and half, At AT&T I was making over 70K a year, where I worked for 9 years as the head mechanic for a fleet of over 80 trucks worth millions of dollars. Chicago police have surveillance tapes of all the harassment that took place at the garages but didn’t tell AT&T because their corrupt cops. Corrupt cops are lying to everybody like they always do. Corrupt investigators broke many federal and civil rights laws, they need to get prosecuted for their crimes.

    All trouble with the police started after we rented to a guy named Leonard Cox, 3 crimes(2 burglaries and a garage fire) within 50 feet from my house where I lived for 9 years at 51st kildare in Chicago, occurred while this guy was in the area, I hired a private investigator for $750 because of all the trouble this guy caused in the neighborhood, The investigator got us a background check, we found out he was a burglar,auto thief, drug addict , male prostitute,(I do have the background check) he rented my basement and made false police reports and so did his fake witness named Marie,(both of them ran away after the reports) I rec ordered this guy talking to my mother because of all the trouble in the neighborhood(I do have audio tapes of him taking to my mother about his fake police reports and his fake witness,that proves they both made fake police reports) at the same time he was living their, their was a fire right in back of our garage and right before he moved in their was burglary right in front of are house, to one of my neighbors. Then his friends committed more crimes I found out later, using fake witnesses, false police reports and using the their cell phone SCANNER to find out my location to commit or make more fake police reports to try to frame me.

    I have his background check and the 20 minute audio tapes that proves the police are trying to frame me and others. All the crimes are linked to this guy. Racist Police heard my tapes over 4 years ago but they think their above the law. He ran away and so did his fake witness(Marie) right after her fake police reports. They also have been interfering with my lawyers for 2 years in civil rights lawsuit for they wont get sued. Do you know any civil rights lawyer, please let me know I have lots of witnesses and evidence of their crimes.

    You can check police reports this his name is Leonard Cox( he started all this mess)a male prostitute who was trying to set me up with his fake reports and other crimes his friends did, the guy ran away to Oregon, CORRUPT COPS DO NOT WANT FIND HIM because he will prove again the whole thing is a setup, thats what they should have did 4 years ago but their covering up for their MOB friends. He’ll screw up their frame job for him. Cox knows the names of the MOB members who committed all the crimes.

    Here’s Leonard Cox background check(this is the the guy that started all the trouble)

    Requested :02/26/04 Printed:02/27/04

    Background Verification Report Completed:02/26/04
    Prepared For: Security Professionals Inc
    Attention: Human Resource Department Prepared By: MIKE DAVIS
    Subject: COX, LEONARD SS#: 338-64-xxxx
    Address: 2851 W. 38th DOB: 02/04/64

    SEARCH RECORD
    COOK IL

    Search Type: Felony and Misdemeanor, Unlimited

    COURT: County Beat
    CASE NUMBER: 0420579701 MISD
    DATE OF OFFENSE: 01/09/04
    CHARGES: PROSITUTION
    DISPOSITION: PENDING 3-4-2004
    IDENTIEFERS ON
    RECORD FILE: NAME MATCH
    DOB MATCH

    COURT County Beat
    CASE NUMBER: 02823701
    DATE OF OFFENSE 06-24-02
    CHARGES: POSSESION OF A CONTROLLED SUBS
    DISPOSITION: NO PROBABLE CAUSE
    IDENTIFIERS ON
    RECORD FILE: NAME MATCH
    DOB MATCH

    COURT: County Seat
    CASE NUMBER 025005634
    DATE OF OFFENSE: 06/19/02
    CHARGES: Battery
    DISPOSITION:

    IDENTIEFIERS ON NAME MATCH
    RECORD FILE: DOB MATCH

    COURT: County Seat
    CASE NUMBER 025005634
    DATE OF OFFENSE: 01/14/86
    CHARGES: STOLEN VEHICLE
    DISPOSITION: NOLLE

    IDENTIEFIERS ON NAME MATCH
    RECORD FILE: DOB MATCH

    COURT: County Seat
    CASE NUMBER 85C2011101 FELONY
    DATE OF OFFENSE: 03/25/85
    CHARGES: BURGLARY
    DISPOSITION DATE: 05/17/85
    DISPOSITION: 3 YRS PROBATION
    10-5-87 TERMINATED UNSATIFACTORY

    IDENTIEFIERS ON NAME MATCH
    RECORD FILE: DOB MATCH

    COURT: County Seat
    CASE NUMBER 84C115736 FELONY
    DATE OF OFFENSE: 03/10/84
    CHARGES: STOLEN VEHICLE
    DISPOSITION DATE: 03/16/84
    DISPOSITION: 18 MONHS PROBATION
    $300 FINE
    10-22-87 TERMINATED UNSATIFACTON

    IDENTIEFIERS ON NAME MATCH
    RECORD FILE: DOB MATCH

  13. Chicago got corrupt MOB COPs and their covering for LEONARD COX 10 year convict, male prostitute, druggie, burglar , auto thief, freak. All their crimes are linked to this freak I dont know how many crimes the white MOB committed but their all linked to LEONARD Cox.

    They use a scanner to listen on your cell phone to find your location and plan out their frameups its real easy. lots of fake police reports like Cox’x and Maria’s

  14. When people listen the cops will not react. Why are you all so stupid to not understand such a simple concept? It is hard being a 14 year veteran.

  15. The federal court for the District of Northern Illinois has resources for pro se litigants.

    One of the other federal courts, I think it was Idaho, has a fill in the blank complaint for excessive use of force and I think for false arrest.

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  17. My brother, Paul Wolf, was killed by an off duty drunk Chicago cop 32 years ago. The officer, Nick Lebaris, was found guilty of reckless driving. RECKLESS DRIVING! He got a year probation and was allowed to resign from the force. While Paul was dying in the street Lebaris offered witnesses money to say it was not his fault. He hit Paul head on while helping his girlfriend flee the scene of an accident she was involved in.

    I don’t miss Chicago at all, and hope Lebaris, who still lives there, rots in hell.

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