Man charged with attacking Chicago police officer with wooden flagpole during Mexican Independence Day festivities


CHICAGO — A man convicted of attempted murder in 1994 is now charged with battering a fallen Chicago police officer with a wooden flagpole during Mexican Independence Day festivities this weekend.

The incident started around 1 a.m. Saturday in the 2500 block of South Homan.

Officers were patrolling the area as part of the police department’s Mexican Independence Day strategy when someone fired a pellet gun at them, Assistant State’s Attorney Danielle Levin said.

A crowd of people closed in on the cops and began throwing debris at officers as they tried to arrest the person who shot at them, Levin said. During the melee, one of the officers fell to the ground.

While the officer was still down, Arturo Rodriguez, 46, walked up and hit him in the back of the head and right side of the neck with a “skinny flagpole stick,” Levin alleged. The incident was captured on video. Watch:

Levin said the officer suffered “pain and bruising” from the attack.

Officers arrested Rodriguez, who is charged with aggravated battery of a peace officer. On Sunday, Judge Maryam Ahmad ordered him to pay a $6,500 bail deposit to go home on electronic monitoring.

“According to the people, this officer’s laying face down in the street,” the judge reiterated, saying Rodriguez is accused of hitting the officer in “one of the most vulnerable parts” of the body.

Rodriguez, the father of two, lives in Cicero and works as a truck driver, Assistant Public Defender Catherine Stockslager said during his bail hearing on Sunday afternoon.

A Chicago police spokesperson said a 16-year-old boy was also arrested at the scene. He is charged with two counts of aggravated battery of a peace officer and two counts of misdemeanor resisting. No other information is available about the teen because he is a juvenile.

During the same confrontation, another officer was struck in the ear with a wooden flagpole, leaving him with a serious injury. A photo of the officer’s injury, which required 30 stitches to repair, has been shared online, but it is difficult to look at. No charges have been announced in connection with that attack.

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