Police report: DuPage judge said bullet hole caused by screwdriver
DuPage County Judge Patrick O'Shea told property managers he was hanging a mirror in his bedroom last month when his screwdriver slipped and accidentally punched a hole in a common wall with another apartment.
It wasn't until nine days later, when his neighbors discovered a spent bullet on the floor of their living room, that authorities discovered the hole was caused by a shot fired from O'Shea's handgun, according to a Wheaton police report obtained Tuesday by the Daily Herald through a Freedom of Information Act request.
O'Shea was arrested Friday and charged with reckless conduct.
The misdemeanor complaint says O'Shea pointed a firearm at a common wall and "pulled the trigger without first determining that the firearm was not loaded, causing the firearm to discharge, causing a bullet to enter the living area of the adjoining apartment."
O'Shea has been removed from all his judicial duties in the wake of his arrest.
Police said O'Shea, 67, of the 200 block of E. Willow Avenue, Wheaton, was apprehended on a warrant stemming from the Sept. 15 case when he is accused of "acting in a reckless manner when a loaded gun was discharged within his residence."
Deputy Police Chief William Murphy said police believe O'Shea was alone when the gun was fired.
O'Shea's neighbor noticed the hole in the west wall of her living room after returning home from work about 4 p.m. Sept. 15 and reported it to the apartment complex's management office, according to the police report.
On Sept. 24, the neighbors told police they found what appeared to be a spent bullet on their living room floor. They turned the bullet over to police along with photographs they had taken of their damaged walls.
They said they had never spoken with O'Shea and did not have any problems with him, according to the police report.
Property managers told Wheaton detectives O'Shea came to the their office just before 2:30 p.m. Sept. 15 and asked for help with the mirror he had been trying to hang.
A staffer who went to O'Shea's apartment found the mirror on his bedroom floor with a hole near the center. O'Shea told the staffer the mirror slipped and while trying to stop it from falling, he put the screwdriver through the mirror and the wall. They both carried the mirror to the building's dumpster.
O'Shea told another woman, whose name police redacted from the report, that he had been standing on a small ladder and tripped, causing the screwdriver to drill through the wall.
On Sept. 16, O'Shea returned to the management office and apparently changed his story, saying his son had been using a pneumatic nail gun and it accidentally put the hole through the master bedroom wall, according to the police report.
O'Shea asked if the hole had gone through to the other apartment directly east of his unit. He said he wanted to apologize to his neighbors and give them a $250 gift card to "make amends for the inconvenience of the situation," the report states.
On Sept. 27, detectives met with O'Shea in his apartment and asked him about the hole. Police redacted his response from the report.
O'Shea was released on a $5,000 recognizance bond. His first court appearance is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Nov. 15.
In a written statement, DuPage Chief Judge Kathryn Creswell said the Executive Committee of the DuPage Circuit Court, which includes the presiding judges of the court's five divisions, made the decision to strip O'Shea of his judicial duties after he was charged with the misdemeanor offense.
He also was stripped of his unrestricted access to court facilities.
According to the statement, O'Shea will be escorted by deputies should he have court business.