A judge has set bond at $500,000 for a Zion man who allegedly followed a woman home and spat bloody saliva in a sheriff’s deputy’s face and then bragged about having a transmittable disease.
Ben Smart, 55, of the 4200 block of Barberry Lane in Zion, was charged with aggravated battery to a peace officer, two counts of aggravated driving under the influence, resisting a correctional officer, disorderly conduct and driving while license revoked.
Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli said a 47-year-old Beach Park woman was driving home around 12:45 a.m. Saturday.
She noticed she was being followed by another vehicle as she was driving home.
The woman pulled into her driveway and the vehicle that was following her also pulled into her driveway.
The victim notified her husband, a 49-year-old man, who came outside.
The woman’s husband confronted the driver of the car and asked why he followed his wife, Covelli said. The woman and her husband did not know the man.
Smart refused to leave when asked to by the victim’s husband and the woman called 911 and Lake County sheriff’s deputies responded.
When sheriff’s deputies arrived, they noticed Smart had obvious signs of alcohol impairment.
They also found Smart had been driving with a revoked driver’s license.
Sheriff deputies attempted to take Smart into custody but he resisted arrest and actively fought with the deputies, Covelli said.
The deputies were able to place Smart into custody and began walking him toward their squad cars.
While walking toward the squad cars, Smart spit several times at the deputies, Covelli said.
His spit struck one of the deputies directly in the face. Smart’s saliva likely contained blood because he was bleeding from his lip.
After spitting in the deputy’s face, Smart bragged he had a transmittable disease, Covelli said.
The deputy who was spit on went to an area hospital for treatment and will be on a long-term precautionary treatment plan due to the possibility that Smart has a transmittable disease.
Smart arrived at the Lake County Jail and resisted the correctional officers’ efforts to remove him from the squad car.
Correctional officers used pepper spray to assist in getting him out of the squad car.
“This is just one example of the many dangers our deputies and correctional officers face on a daily basis. Even knowing the risks and dangers, our staff come to work every day and serve our community professionally. I am very hopeful our deputy in this incident will be okay,” Sheriff John D. Idleburg said.
Smart is currently on parole with the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Prosecutors said in court Sunday that the department of corrections issued a no-bond parole violation warrant because of the incident.
State records show Smart has previous convictions for possession of a stolen vehicle, armed robbery, robbery, manufacturing or delivering a controlled substance, bribery and driving under the influence.
Lake County Judge Patricia Cornell ordered Smart held on a $500,000 bond.
Smart remains held in the Lake County Jail and would need to post $50,000 cash in order to be released.
He is scheduled to appear in court again on December 12.