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updated: 5/9/2013 4:56 PM

Mundelein man shot by cop pleads not guilty

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  • Howard Lazarus

      Howard Lazarus

 
 

A Mundelein man who was shot after drawing a fake handgun on a police officer inside of the Vernon Hills Police station pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault of a peace officer Thursday.

Howard Lazarus, 53, of the 0-100 block of North Bristol Court, is in Lake County jail on $100,000 bail.

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If found guilty of the charge, Lazarus could be sentenced up to 3 years in prison, Lake County Judge Christopher Stride said. He could also be sentenced to probation.

Authorities say Lazarus walked into the Vernon Hills police station on Lakeview Parkway about midnight on April 3 and asked to meet with an officer regarding a traffic accident.

After a veteran officer went into the police station lobby to take the man's report, Lazarus pulled out a realistic-looking fake handgun and pointed it at the officer.

After some negotiating, authorities said, the officer opened fire and discharged two rounds from his weapon. One hit Lazarus in the abdomen, while the second shattered the front glass door.

Authorities later found a handwritten note in Lazarus' pocket that said he was dying from cancer and "couldn't do the deed myself," authorities said.

Defense attorney Keith Grant of Waukegan said only that Lazarus is recuperating from the gun shot wound, and would not comment further.

He is due back in court on May 29 for pretrial and July 8 for trial.

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