A judge has denied pre-trial release for a man accused of intentionally crashing his SUV into a police car, leaving the officer very seriously injured, in Round Lake.
Round Lake Police Chief David Prus said a Round Lake police officer was traveling northbound on Cedar Lake Road approaching Washington Street in Round Lake around 4 p.m. on November 15.
A Chevrolet Trailblazer, driven by Norberto Garcia-Acevedo, 27, of Round Lake, was traveling southbound on Cedar Lake Road.
Garcia-Acevedo abruptly swerved his Chevrolet into the northbound lanes of traffic, striking the marked police squad head-on, Prus said.
The squad had been traveling at a slow speed approaching the intersection at the time of the impact.
The police officer was transported to an area hospital with “very serious injuries,” Prus said.
Multiple police officers and firefighters smelled an “extreme odor” of alcohol coming from Garcia-Acevedo, Prus said.
Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Kelse Banks said blood and urine were collected from Garcia-Acevedo that showed a blood alcohol content of 0.143.
He also had a presence of cannabis in his body and told investigators he smoked the day before.
Prus said video evidence was obtained and Garcia-Acevedo made statements, which led investigators to determine he intentionally struck the squad.
Garcia-Acevedo admitted to consuming numerous beers before the crash and even drank while he was driving, Banks said.
Garcia-Acevedo admitted to speeding out of a parking lot at 80 mph in a 30 mph zone, Banks said.
He said he heard voices in his head and crossed into the oncoming lane to hit the squad car.
Garcia-Acevedo claimed he did not know he hit a police officer but said he “does hate cops,” Banks said.
Garcia-Acevedo was transported to an area hospital with minor injuries where he was treated and released into police custody.
He was charged with aggravated battery to a peace officer causing great bodily harm, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and aggravated driving under the influence causing great bodily harm. Additional charges are possible.
Both drivers were the sole occupants of their vehicles.
The intersection of Cedar Lake Road and Washington Street was completely shut down for approximately four hours.
Garcia-Acevedo only has a prior charge of disorderly conduct from a few years ago but does not have any serious criminal background, Prus said.
The Lake County Major Crash Assistance Team (MCAT) is conducting an independent investigation into the crash.
Garcia-Acevedo appeared in court on Monday for a detention hearing in front of Lake County Judge Ari Fisz.
Banks called Garcia-Acevedo a threat to the entire community and a petition was filed to detain him.
Attorney Robert T. Ritacca, who is representing Garcia-Acevedo, said in court that prosecutors had incorrectly charged his client and argued that his client should be released pending trial.
Fisz granted the petition to detain Garcia-Acevedo in the Lake County Jail pending trial.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled in the case for December 7.