Two charged in connection with courthouse protest

Adam Kozielec | CPD

Two men are facing criminal charges in connection with separate incidents during a protest Saturday afternoon outside the Leighton Criminal Courthouse, 2650 South California. One is accused of pushing a high-ranking Chicago police officer off of a moving truck while the other allegedly painted anti-police and obscene graffiti on a wall outside the courthouse.

Prosecutors said a CPD deputy chief jumped onto truck driver Adam Kozielec’s delivery vehicle to keep it from advancing toward protesters who were standing in the middle of California Avenue. The deputy chief ordered Kozielec to turn his truck off, but Kozielec struck the officer in the arm, knocked him off the moving truck, and drove away, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said during a bond hearing Monday.

The officer was not seriously injured, Murphy said.

Other officers stopped Kozielec a short time later and took him into custody. Prosecutors charged him with felony aggravated battery of a police officer, misdemeanor reckless conduct, and misdemeanor driving on a suspended license.

His public defender, Drew Bruno, said there were no allegations that Kozielec’s actions had any political motivation. He’s been a truck driver for 20 years and has a wife and children, Bruno said.

“I won’t delve into whether there were political motivations or not because there is no way to know,” Judge Charles Beach said before setting bail at $10,000.

Graffiti on a wall outside the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on June 13, 2020. | Provided

In the other matter, prosecutors accused a Roscoe Village man of defacing the courthouse plaza and then resisting police who tried to take him into custody.

Shawn Spain, 21, is charged with felony criminal damage to property and two counts of resisting police. Judge Beach released him on a recognizance bond and ordered him to stay home between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. It is Spain’s first arrest.

Prosecutors said police officers who were monitoring the protest via surveillance cameras saw Spain paint the words “F*ck 12” and “suck a d*ck” on a wall outside the courthouse. The damage is estimated at $2,000.

Police camera operators saw Spain, wearing a distinctive jacket, get into a waiting vehicle and field officers took him into custody.

Murphy, the prosecutor, said video posted to Twitter and other social media outlets showed officers removing Spain from the back seat of an SUV as a crowd formed and tried to get the arresting officers off him. Spain resisted by “stiffening” as police tried to handcuff him, Murphy said.

Judge Beach said Spain has a right to express his opinion under the First Amendment, but “writing ‘suck a d*ck’ on a courthouse is destruction of property, which has led Mr. Spain to this position, unfortunately.”

Other phrases were also painted in the same area with the same color of paint, but Spain is not charged with creating those tags.

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