A judge called a man’s action “outrageous” before setting bond at $500,000 after he accelerated his car down a closed-off road, nearly hitting children who were participating in a triathlon in Wauconda.
The Wauconda Park District was hosting its annual children’s triathlon race for children ages 7-15 throughout the Village of Wauconda.
The Wauconda Police Department had officers blocking off the intersection of Garland Road and Bonner Road around 8:37 a.m. Saturday.
The driver of a custom 2008 Ford Mustang GT pulled up to the intersection, according to police officials.
He then allegedly accelerated through the posted barricades and past a marked police squad that had its emergency lights activated.
A uniformed police officer yelled for the driver to stop but he continued driving.
Police said the Ford traveled southbound on Garland Road weaving around traffic cones at a high rate of speed.
There were children in the southbound lanes of Garland Road actively participating in the triathlon at the time.
Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Lillian Lewis said there was an estimated 30 children on the road. They had to scatter to avoid being hit by the car.
The driver sped past another uniformed officer and was eventually stopped by other officers at Garland Road and Winding Lane.
Lewis said the driver traveled at a very high rate of speed of approximately 50-60 mph in a 30 mph zone.
The driver, identified as Jack A. Hazen, 41, of Wauconda, was taken into custody without further incident.
Hazen “reeked” of alcohol and had bloodshot glassy eyes, Lewis said. Hazen declined to tell officers whether he used drugs or consumed alcohol.
Lewis said it is not known whether Hazen was intentionally driving toward the children to hit them.
“Fortunately, due to the quick actions of Wauconda Police personnel, no participants were injured,” Wauconda Police Chief David Wermes said.
Hazen was charged with aggravated assault with a motor vehicle, a Class 4 felony, and reckless driving, a Class A misdemeanor.
He was also cited for improper traffic lane usage and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.
It is unclear why he was not charged with driving under the influence despite prosecutors indicating he was impaired.
Lake County Judge Veronica O’Malley repeatedly called Hazen’s behavior “outrageous” during a bond hearing Sunday.
“You put the health and safety of all those children at risk,” O’Malley said.
Prosecutors had asked the court to impose a $100,000 bond. O’Malley set bond at $500,000.
Hazen was ordered to not drive a vehicle until further court order and be placed on an alcohol monitoring device if he posts bond.
The Wauconda Police Department said they seized Hazen’s Ford due to his reckless actions.
Hazen remains held in the Lake County Jail and is scheduled to appear in court again on Wednesday.