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Crystal Lake resident details harrowing experience of police officers who saved him after being stabbed

File Photo | Credit: Crystal Lake Police Department.

A Crystal Lake resident wrote a letter describing how Crystal Lake police officers helped save him and arrested his brother following a stabbing in 2019.

Christopher Lotesto, a Crystal Lake resident, wrote the letter in March to the Lakewood Village Board and provided details of an incident that occurred on November 12, 2019.

Lotesto said he woke up that morning to find his brother, David Lepey, 24, standing in the hallway of Lotesto’s home holding a kitchen knife in his hand.

“I was home with my three children, and my wife, and still remember the anxiety and immediate fear I felt not knowing what was happening. I quickly got David to leave the hallway and go into the living room, as I barricade my wife and children in my bedroom and stood blocking the door, maybe six feet away from David.”

Lotesto said he had his wife call 911.

Police officers responded to the family’s home in the 500 block of Devonshire Lane in Crystal Lake after receiving a call of a man armed with a knife and acting abnormally, Crystal Lake Deputy Police Chief Thomas Kotlowski said at the time.

“When they [the police] arrived they banged on the door over and over until I decided I needed to make a move and open the door. As I went downstairs David followed, faced me and lunged,” Lotesto said.

Lotesto said that everything happened very fast and he didn’t even realize he was stabbed until police officers broke down the door and tasered Lepey.

David Lepey, 24, of Crystal Lake.

“I stood up, and immediately noticed I was bleeding from the left side of my chest, right by my heart. Immediately my adrenaline turned into fear, I was two weeks out from my birthday, and just over a month from Christmas,” he said.

“I did not want to leave behind my family, and had no idea the extent of the wound as I just put as much pressure as I could with the help of the officers until medical attention arrived.”

Lotesto said that he was lucky the knife missed his heart and major organs. His brother was arrested following a scuffle with officers, one of which he disarmed.

Lepey was charged with two counts of domestic battery, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery to a peace officer and disarming a peace officer.

Lepey was out on bond when he allegedly tampered with his GPS ankle monitor in March and went missing. A warrant was issued for his arrest.

“My brother David has a history of mental illness and drug addiction which I believe fueled this unprovoked attack, but my brother was released conditionally that he continues to take his prescribed medication, stays off recreational drugs, and remains on his ankle monitor,” Lotesto said.

“The anxiety of him being released weighs on me from time to time, until his court case is finalized, but when I read that he was “whereabouts unknown” my heart sank,” he added.

In his letter to the village board, Lotesto specifically thanked Lakewood Police Department Officer Sean McGrath, who located Lepey on March 13 after the warrant was issued.

McGrath spotted Lepey walking in Lakewood and the man ran on foot into the woods. Lakewood and Crystal Lake police officers arrested him.

McGrath called Lotesto after arresting Lepey and told him, “I got your brother, you and your family are safe,” Lotesto said in the letter.

“… I hope to be able to at least shine some light on Officer McGrath, and your department, for not only serving and protecting our communities, but the personal touch that my family and I felt from that short phone call. I appreciate you more than I can even put into words,” Lotesto said.