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updated: 4/18/2014 9:37 PM

Schaumburg man faces battery, hate crime charges

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  • John Abel Jr.

      John Abel Jr.

 
 

A Schaumburg man whose 2012 drug charges were dropped last year following the arrest of three former undercover officers now faces battery and hate crime charges.

John Abel Jr. was charged with aggravated battery and a hate crime last month after he punched a fast-food worker and used racial slurs against him, said Schaumburg police spokesman Sgt. John Nebl.

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Abel, 24, placed an order at the drive-through window of a McDonald's on South Roselle Road about 8 p.m. Feb. 19, Nebl said. When the clerk told Abel he couldn't accommodate the request, Abel used a racial slur, got out of the car and entered the restaurant, Nebl said.

"Hurling various racial epithets," Abel punched the black clerk in the face several times, Nebl said.

Witnesses provided police the license plate number of the car. The clerk identified Abel as his assailant in a photo lineup, and police took him into custody March 13, Nebl said.

Abel, who posted $5,000 of his $50,000 bond, appeared in a Rolling Meadows courtroom this week. He is scheduled to be arraigned on April 24.

If convicted of the most serious of the charges, Abel could face two to five years in prison. Probation is also an option.

In 2009, Abel was convicted of burglary after he admitted stealing $1,500 and some marijuana from an Arlington Heights man. Sentenced to boot camp, he was on parole when he was arrested three years later on drug charges.

A judge dismissed those drug charges in February 2013, about a month after the arrest in DuPage County of former undercover Schaumburg officers John Cichy, Matthew Hudak and Terrance O'Brien, all of whom were involved in Abel's 2012 arrest.

DuPage authorities charged the former narcotics officers with multiple offenses including criminal drug conspiracy, delivery of a controlled substance and armed violence.

O'Brien pleaded guilty last month and was sentenced to 38 years in prison. Charges are still pending against Cichy and Hudak, who pleaded not guilty and are free on bond.

Abel's family filed a federal lawsuit last year claiming the former officers violated their civil rights during John Abel Jr.'s 2012 arrest. The lawsuit is pending.

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