No charges in death of Carpentersville man after arrest; video released

Officials says Carpentersville arrest of man who later died was 'by the book'

  • Joshua Paul refuses a police order to put his hands on the car and attempts to get into his car as he is grabbed by one Carpentersville police officer.

    Joshua Paul refuses a police order to put his hands on the car and attempts to get into his car as he is grabbed by one Carpentersville police officer. Image from video provided by Carpentersville Police

  • Joshua Paul

    Joshua Paul Courtesy of Chris Paul

  • Joshua Paul is ordered to put his hands on the back of his car after a traffic stop Aug. 17 by Carpentersville police.

    Joshua Paul is ordered to put his hands on the back of his car after a traffic stop Aug. 17 by Carpentersville police. video provided by Carpentersville Police

  • Both Carpentersville officers grab Joshua Paul to prevent him from getting back into his car.

    Both Carpentersville officers grab Joshua Paul to prevent him from getting back into his car. Image from video provided by Carpentersville Police

  • In this sequence of images, Carpentersville police officers trip Joshua Paul to get him on the ground and arrest him on an outstanding warrant. He tumbled to the ground and sustained a gash to his chin.

    In this sequence of images, Carpentersville police officers trip Joshua Paul to get him on the ground and arrest him on an outstanding warrant. He tumbled to the ground and sustained a gash to his chin. Image from video provided by Carpentersville Police

  • Joshua Paul tumbles to the ground after being tripped by Carpentersville police who were attempting to arrest him and prevent him from getting into his car.

    Joshua Paul tumbles to the ground after being tripped by Carpentersville police who were attempting to arrest him and prevent him from getting into his car. Image from video provided by Carpentersville Police

  • Carpentersville police subdue Joshua Paul and kneel on his back for about 30 seconds as they place handcuffs on him.

    Carpentersville police subdue Joshua Paul and kneel on his back for about 30 seconds as they place handcuffs on him. Image from video provided by Carpentersville Police

  • Joshua Paul sustained a gash to his chin after two Carpentersville police officers tackled him when he refused to cooperate while he was being placed under arrest.

    Joshua Paul sustained a gash to his chin after two Carpentersville police officers tackled him when he refused to cooperate while he was being placed under arrest. Image from video provided by Carpentersville Police

  • Joshua Paul was able to sit up under his own power after being tackled and handcuffed by police following his Aug. 17 arrest.

    Joshua Paul was able to sit up under his own power after being tackled and handcuffed by police following his Aug. 17 arrest. Image from video provided by Carpentersville Police

 
 
Updated 11/26/2014 5:08 AM

Two Carpentersville police officers who arrested and scuffled with a 31-year-old man who died hours later at an Elgin hospital won't face criminal charges.

Kane County State's Attorney Joseph McMahon announced late Tuesday that "criminal charges are not warranted" in Joshua Paul's Aug. 18 death. He made the announcement after reviewing a report compiled after three months of investigation by the Illinois State Police Public Integrity Task Force.

 

"It's an unfortunate incident that occurred for the Paul family and for the officers involved," said Carpentersville Public Safety Director Al Popp. "It was absolutely done by the book," he said of the officers' treatment of Paul.

The Kane County Coroner's report stated Paul, of Carpentersville, died of internal bleeding from a lacerated portal vein in his liver. The report stated chronic cirrhosis of the liver caused by long-term alcohol abuse contributed to his death. Paul's blood alcohol content when he was admitted to the hospital was listed at .356 percent, almost 4 times the legal limit to operate a vehicle.

McMahon said prosecutors reviewed the state police report, the coroner's report and Paul's medical records when determining whether to file charges.

Carpentersville police also released Paul's arrest report and video of Paul's arrest. The village had refused to release the information before Tuesday despite an Oct. 15 ruling from Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office that the reports and videos were open records and should be released in the "public's interest."

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Popp defended the village's decision to violate state open records law, saying, "The most important thing from our perspective was the integrity of the trust to make sure the investigation was done thoroughly and independently."

Popp said he always had faith that the officers, both 10-year veterans of the department with no disciplinary reports in their files, had followed proper procedure. Popp said he "personally spoke with them" when he decided to ask the state police to handle the investigation of Paul's death. Both officers remained on active duty and on patrol while the investigation was being conducted.

Paul was arrested shortly before 5:30 p.m. Aug. 17 after leaving a liquor store on the 200 block of Main Street. One of the arresting officers had recognized Paul's vehicle in the parking lot of the liquor store as the vehicle he had run a check on four days earlier. That check on Aug. 13 uncovered an outstanding warrant for the owner, but the officer lost the car in heavy traffic before he could stop it, Popp said.

According to the arrest report, the officer tried to pull Paul over shortly after he left the liquor store, but Paul ignored both the sirens and lights of the squad car in pursuit and proceeded to a nearby Home Depot parking lot on the 200 block of Springhill Road, where he wove through parked cars before coming to a stop. The pursuit lasted about 1,000 feet, according to Popp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Popp said the arresting officer noticed the odor of alcohol coming from the car when Paul rolled down his window.

When the officer asked for Paul's identification, Paul gave a fake name, according to the arrest report. When the officers discovered Paul had lied to them about his name, they asked Paul to step out of the car and told him he was under arrest.

In the nearly 20-minute video from the arresting officer's squad car, Paul exits his vehicle about four minutes and 40 seconds after the pursuit begins.

Popp said instead of placing his hands on the back of his car as he was ordered, Paul "makes a gesture and says, 'I'm outta here,'" and tried to get back in his car. That happens five minutes and 15 seconds into the video, which has no audio.

As Paul opens the door to his car, both officers grab Paul. According to Popp, the officers trip Paul and force him to fall face down on the ground.

"He's wanted, he's revoked and we think he's intoxicated," Popp said.

After Paul is on the ground, the video shows both officers trying to pin his arms behind his back while they kneel on Paul's back and buttocks.

Within 30 seconds Paul is in handcuffs and both officers have gotten off him, the video shows.

Popp called it a "very, very brief struggle."

As the officers lift Paul into a seated position, a pool of blood appears in the bottom left corner of the screen. One of the officers goes to fetch something to staunch the bleeding from a cut on Paul's chin and reappears with a pile of napkins 2 minutes later.

One officer squats and holds the napkins to Paul's chin until paramedics arrive about three minutes later.

Meanwhile, Paul does not appear to be distressed in the video. He calmly talks to the officers while he waits for paramedics. Paul's handcuffs are removed shortly after paramedics arrive and place a bandage on his chin and a neck brace on him. A few minutes later, Paul is helped off the ground and onto a stretcher.

According to the coroner's report, paramedics reported that Paul was lucid and talkative on his way to the hospital.

At the hospital however, Paul's condition worsened. According to the coroner's report, doctors told Paul's family and friends that the prognosis was "grim." Paul died a few hours later.

Paul's older brother, Chris Paul, said he had been told earlier Tuesday that no charges would be filed.

"It's a lot to take in," Chris Paul said. "First holidays are always going to be the roughest, if rough is even the word."

• Daily Herald staff writer Elena Ferrarin contributed to this report.

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