A retired Chicago police officer is charged with threatening to harm a coroner and other officials who are investigating the fatal shooting of a northern Illinois officer unless they categorized that death a suicide, authorities said Sunday.
Joseph A. Battaglia, 54, was arrested at his suburban Chicago home on Saturday on two counts of felony disorderly conduct and remains behind bars at the Lake County Jail on $100,000 bond, Lake County Sheriff's Office said. The Oak Lawn man is due in court again Tuesday.
The Sept. 1 shooting death of Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz prompted a massive manhunt for potential suspects. But the county coroner, Dr. Thomas Rudd, said last week that he couldn't rule the death a homicide, an accident or suicide.
Gliniewicz, a 30-year police veteran who was nearing retirement, radioed he was chasing three suspects before the shooting, but no suspects have been arrested.
Battaglia allegedly threatened Rudd and his staff and task-force investigators in a telephone call Friday. In a statement announcing the allegations Sunday, the sheriff's department didn't offer other details, including Battaglia's possible motive.
The statement didn't include a name of an attorney for Battaglia, and there was no publicly available telephone listing for a Joseph A. Battaglia in Oak Lawn so that he could comment on the allegations.
Lake County Undersheriff Raymond Rose said in Sunday's statement that "any intentional criminal acts to distract or impair our investigation will be actively investigated" and turned over to prosecutors.
"We will not tolerate any behavior which disrupts our investigative efforts," he said.