Charges filed in death of suburban Chicago police lieutenant

Updated 4/5/2021 6:16 PM

CHICAGO -- A northern Illinois man was charged Monday in the death of a suburban Chicago police officer who was killed when struck by a vehicle while providing traffic control during a crash investigation.

Reckless homicide and felony driving under the influence charges were filed against Otis M. Pruitt, 27, of Oak Lawn. He was ordered held in lieu of $1 million bond.


Hometown police Lt. James Kouski of New Lenox was injured Saturday by a vehicle allegedly driven by Pruitt struck a squad car, which in turn struck the officer. Pruitt tried to run from the scene but was stopped by officers, officials said..

Pruitt was taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries from the collision. An examination allegedly found he had a blood alcohol content greater than 0.08% three hours after the incident, a Cook County Sheriff Department official said. It wasn't immediately known if Pruitt has legal representation.

Kouski was redirecting traffic where an accident downed a light pole. He was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead.

The charges against Pruitt came the same day a possession made its way through Hometown, located west of Chicago, where he had been on the force for 34 years. Dozens of people, many waving U.S. flags, turned out for the procession.

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