A year later, questions about deadly Delnor standoff remain unanswered
It's been a year since a Kane County jail inmate got hold of an officer's gun at Delnor Hospital in Geneva, took two nurses hostage and beat and sexually assaulted one before he was killed by a SWAT gunman.
And still, no official report has been made public detailing how the events of May 13, 2017, went down and who's to blame.
That's in part because Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon is still reviewing the results of an Illinois State Police investigation he received last month.
McMahon told Daily Herald Legal Affairs Writer Harry Hitzeman this week that he has no time frame for when he'll release the findings.
"We just don't read the report. We're looking at actual data, oftentimes actual video footage," McMahon said. "We're conducting an independent review and are making a decision based on our review of the facts as they're collected by the Illinois State Police.
"It's an important matter. I don't think the review will take months, but I don't think it will be the next couple of days, either."
Jail inmate Tywon Salters was in Delnor that day being treated because he had eaten a jail-issued sandal. It was the third time in a week he'd been at the hospital.
Under Kane County sheriff's policy, he was supposed to be shackled to his bed. But according to a federal lawsuit filed by the nurses, corrections officer Shawn Loomis freed Salters to use a restroom, then didn't re-shackle him, despite a nurse's request.
Salters overpowered Loomis and took his gun and forced a nurse to give him her clothing. He then took a second nurse to another room and held her for about four hours, authorities say.
McMahon's office has appointed outside lawyers to represent the county in the lawsuits "to minimize and eliminate conflict," McMahon told us Thursday. That allows him to "maintain independence when making separate decisions arising from a similar set of facts."
That's no puppy
A Bartlett resident spotted a cute canine abandoned along the side of a busy road Thursday morning and, fearing for its safety, brought the cuddly creature to the village's police department.
Turns out, that young dog wasn't a dog at all, but instead a baby coyote who'd apparently gotten separated from its litter.
Bartlett police sent a tweet, along with an adorable photo, about the coyote pup Thursday morning, noting that he was "quite the attraction" at the police department.
Police said they later turned over the pup to DuPage County's Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn, a rehabilitation facility that provides care and medical treatment to injured and orphaned wild animals.
(Fighting) crime pays
Police work is a tough job, but it continues to be a financially rewarding one in Illinois, at least relative to law enforcement colleagues across the country.
According to a report released this week by the a personal finance website WalletHub, Illinois cops have the highest median income in the nation, when adjusted for cost of living. They also saw the seventh-most growth in income between 2016 and 2017.
Those factors are a big reason Illinois ranks as the seventh best state to be a law enforcement officer, according to the report.
The worst part about being a cop in Illinois? Perhaps struggles to solve murders. According to the study, we rank dead last in the percent of homicide cases solved.
For more on the report, visit wallethub.com/edu/best-states-to-be-a-cop/34669/#main-findings.
Chicago's federal courthouses have been home to some momentous cases over the years -- from the tax evasion trial of Al Capone and the prosecution of the Chicago Seven to the Operation Greylord trials and those of former governors George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich.
Now, the public can get a fresh look at those cases and other significant moments at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois by checking out the newly opened museum and history center on the 21st floor of the Dirksen Federal Building at 219 S. Dearborn St., Chicago.
"It is an exciting day for our court to dedicate public space that allows members of our community to learn about and reflect upon the profound impact this court has made on our district and nation," Chief Judge Rubén Castillo said at the museum's official opening last week.
The museum features artifacts, art, documents and interactive video presentations highlighting the court's history as it approaches its 200th anniversary next year. Visitors also can learn about James Benton Parsons, the first black person to serve as a federal judge. His tenure included service as the district's chief judge.
The Northern District of Illinois is the third-largest district court in the U.S., stretching across 18 counties with a population of 9.3 million people.
The museum is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Admission is free.
Year in review
2017 was another busy year for the Lake County sheriff's Gang Task Force, according to stats released by the sheriff's office earlier this month.
During the past year, the task force opened more than 200 criminal cases, leading to nearly 150 arrests, according to the figures. Those arrests led to 18 guns, 57 pounds of marijuana (street value $522,956), 1.7 kilos of cocaine (valued at $172,830) and 41.5 grams of heroin being taken off the street, along with assorted other narcotics, the sheriff's office reports.
The task force was created in mid-2015 to combat gang activity, including drug dealing, human trafficking, gun trafficking and money laundering. Task force members also give educational presentations to students, teachers, parents and business and community organizations. The sheriff's office's partners in the task force include the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Drug Enforcement Agency; FBI; Homeland Security Investigations; the Lake County state's attorney's office; and the Grayslake, Lake Villa, Mundelein and Wauconda police departments.
Ruby Mohsin of Glen Ellyn didn't have to report to federal prison May 1 after all on her two-year sentence for selling synthetic cannabis. She got a stay at almost the last minute, so she can have surgeries in May and June on her gums, according to court records. Her report date was pushed back to July 3.
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