Streamwood cop pleads not guilty to beating motorist

  • Video frame grabs of Streamwood police officer James Mandarino allegedly beating a motorist.

    Video frame grabs of Streamwood police officer James Mandarino allegedly beating a motorist.

 
 
Posted5/29/2010 12:01 AM

A Streamwood police officer entered a not guilty plea to charges that he beat a driver and Tasered his passenger following a traffic stop in the predawn hours of March 28.

Cpl. James Mandarino, 41, has been charged with aggravated battery and official misconduct in the incident, which was captured on his squad car's dashboard camera. If convicted, he could face two to five years in prison. He could also receive probation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Authorities say Mandarino beat driver Ronald Bell, 28, about 15 times about the head neck and arms as he knelt unresisting in his Streamwood driveway. Additionally, Mandarino Tasered passenger Nolan Stalbaum, 38, of Glendale Heights, authorities said.

Both men were hospitalized. Bell was charged with reckless driving and DUI. Both were charged with resisting arrest. The Cook County State's Attorney dropped those charges early last month.

On Thursday, the same day Mandarino pleaded not guilty, Bell and Stalbaum filed suit in federal court against him and the Village of Streamwood, alleging Mandarino used with excessive force. It also accuses other Streamwood officers of false arrest and imprisonment, conspiracy, and denial of medical attention, among other allegations.

According to Mandarino's personnel record obtained by the Daily Herald through a Freedom of Information Act request, the 15-year veteran's file includes only one reprimand for "neglect of duty."

Mandarino is free on a $50,000 bail. He next appears in court on June 30.