Chicago cop arrested for evading police during off-duty chase; same cop went viral in bodycam video of another off-duty incident last year

Chicago — An off-duty Chicago police officer is charged with misdemeanors after allegedly running red lights and then arguing with on-duty cops who pulled him over. The same officer’s off-duty antics went viral last year when CPD bodycam footage leaked, showing him losing his cool with on-duty cops during another traffic stop.

Jonathan Mehrhoff, who joined the force in June 2018, is charged with misdemeanor fleeing and eluding and misdemeanor reckless conduct, according to a Chicago police spokesperson. He was released from the Harrison (11th) District police station on a recognizance bond. Police also handed him four traffic citations, according to a CPD arrest report.

Chicago Police Office Jonathan Mehrhoff’s 2022 mugshot and an image from last year’s video. | Provided

A Harrison District tactical unit saw Mehrhoff’s Acura MDX run two red lights in the 400 and 500 blocks of South Kostner around 8 p.m. Sunday and tried to pull him over by activating their lights and sirens, the report said. But the Acura “accelerated in speed and disregarded [the officers’] attempt to stop the vehicle,” the report continued.

Mehrhoff, 32, headed onto the inbound Eisenhower Expressway, drove on the shoulder, then “came to an abrupt stop causing [the officers] to make an evasive maneuvers [sic] to avoid crashing into the Acura MDX,” said the report.

The cops got out of their unmarked car to approach the Acura, but it sped off, only to “abruptly stop in the middle of traffic” near Independence Boulevard, “causing [the officers] to evasively maneuver out of the way to avoid a crash,” the report said.

Officers walked up to the car, and Mehrhoff “became very irate by yelling at [the officers] and refused multiple verbal commands. Driver admitted to disregarding stop light [sic] and related he did not stop because we were ‘tweaking,'” the officers reported.

According to their report, Mehrhoff “refused multiple commands” to get out of the car, and the officers recovered a loaded handgun from the driver’s door.

He “continued to talk over [the officers] being belligerent and disregarding [the officers’] explanation of the traffic stop,” the report said.

At that point, Mehrhoff identified himself as an off-duty Chicago police officer, and the cops called in a supervisor.

According to the report, the supervisor let Mehrhoff drive the Acura to the Harrison District station. There, he met with “supervisors,” and he was then arrested.

Arresting officers impounded the Acura and seized Mehrhoff’s off-duty weapon. He has been stripped of police powers pending an internal investigation.

In July 2021, CPD body camera footage showed a driver claiming to be an off-duty Chicago police officer berating cops during a traffic stop.

“I’m a PO just like you all,” he began. And it went downhill from there.

“You all are tweakin’, bro!” the driver told the officers at one point. 

“Shut the hell up, man! F*cking whiny, bro! Get the f*ck out of here,” he continued in the low-quality video, which went viral. Watch (obscene language):

He was not arrested last year.

Mehrhoff’s most recent assignment within CPD is not known. However, last year he worked on the “Community Safety Team,” which is supposed to focus on building positive police experiences with citizens. Two sources said Mehrohoff has worked as a use-of-force instructor at the police academy, but that could not be confirmed through official channels. His salary last year was $90,990.

In an unrelated case, a second Chicago police officer was also stripped of police powers pending investigation on Sunday morning. Luis Cruz, 34, a six-year veteran of the department is charged with misdemeanor battery. He was released on his own recognizance from the Central (1st) District station.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com