A former Chicago police officer, who was suspended after he allegedly threatened another man with a firearm magazine while drunk and off-duty at a Milwaukee bar, was hired by the Wauconda Police Department in September.
Chicago Police Officer Robert Pet was off-duty and traveled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he had dinner on December 16, 2018, and allegedly began drinking while carrying a loaded firearm, according to a report by the City of Chicago Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) released in late January.
Pet, now 31, was allegedly drinking throughout the night, attended a Lee Brice concert and later went to Rouge’s Gallery, a bar formerly located at 134 East Juneau Avenue in Milwaukee.
Pet engaged in an “unnecessary verbal altercation” with another man at the bar, the report said.
He allegedly reached towards his right hip, pulled out a handgun magazine and held it against the man’s chest in a “threatening manner.”
“Officer Pet chose to remain in the conversation, which escalated until he displayed a firearm magazine and a physical altercation ensued,” the report said.
Multiple men struck Pet and one of them wrestled his gun away, a police report said.
Patrons and bar security broke up the altercation and Pet exited out the front door.
The Milwaukee Police Department responded to the bar for a report of a person with a weapon.
Pet was arrested and admitted to drinking at the bar while carrying a loaded handgun, the report said.
Pet’s leather holster, a handgun with a magazine and 16 9mm cartridges were handed to police after they were taken during the altercation.
Pet refused to take a breathalyzer test and officers obtained a search warrant for a blood draw.
Pet’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was about 0.11% around four hours after his arrest, the report said.
COPA was notified of the incident the next morning.
Pet was initially charged with operating a firearm while intoxicated, a Class A misdemeanor in Wisconsin, but the charge was later amended to disorderly conduct.
Pet pleaded no contest and was fined $250.
Pet was hired by the Chicago Police Department in June 2017 and received his police star in December 2017.
In an April 2020 interview with COPA investigators, Pet had trouble recalling parts of the incident.
He was uncertain why he took a gun with him that night and apologized for his actions during the interview, the report said.
The COPA sustained three allegations against Pet that he was intoxicated off-duty, engaged in an “unnecessary verbal altercation” and displayed a firearm magazine.
They recommended he be fired from the Chicago Police Department, saying “his dangerously poor judgment is not befitting of a sworn officer and renders him ill-suited to continue to serve in his current capacity as a police officer.”
Instead, the City of Chicago reached a settlement with Pet in August 2021 and suspended him for 180 days, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Pet was later hired by the Wauconda Police Department last September, one day before being listed as “inactive” by the Chicago Police Department, the Sun-Times added.
Wauconda Police Department Public Information Officer Heather Cognac told Lake and McHenry County Scanner on Tuesday that Pet’s background was “thoroughly reviewed” by the Wauconda Board of Fire and Police Commissioners prior to his hire as a police officer.
“This included a review of the circumstances regarding Mr. Pet’s employment with the City of Chicago,” Cognac said.
“Based on this review, the Board determined that there was no basis to disqualify Mr. Pet from employment as a Wauconda police officer,” Cognac added.