A grand jury has upgraded charges to attempted murder 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, 28, 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. Both drivers were the sole occupants of their vehicles.
He was charged with aggravated battery to a peace officer causing great bodily harm, two counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, two counts of aggravated battery of a peace officer, aggravated driving under the influence causing great bodily harm, aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, aggravated assault with a motor vehicle, three counts of aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated driving under the influence causing bodily harm and two counts of driving under the influence of alcohol.
On Wednesday, a Lake County grand jury returned an indictment additionally charging Garcia-Acevedo with attempted murder, a Class X felony.
The intersection of Cedar Lake Road and Washington Street was completely shut down for approximately four hours for the Lake County Major Crash Assistance Team (MCAT) to conduct an investigation.
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.
Lake County Judge Ari Fisz granted a petition to detain the man pending trial following his arrest after prosecutors said he was a threat to the entire community.
Garcia-Acevedo is scheduled to appear in court again on Wednesday for a case management conference.