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Man pleads not guilty to charges of pointing weapon at police officer

Updated: July 9, 2013 2:27AM

The Mundelein man alleged to have walked into Vernon Hills police department for suicide by cop pleaded not guilty to one count of aggravated assault Thursday, May 9.

Howard Lazarus, 53, could spend one to three years in prison or receive a sentence of probation if he is convicted, Judge Christopher Stride said.

Lazarus is accused of walking into Vernon Hills police station just after midnight April 3 claiming to report an auto accident. An officer referred Lazarus to Mundelein after learning the alleged accident happened in that jurisdiction.

The officer offered to transport Lazarus to Mundelein Police Department. At this point, Lazarus is accused of pulling out an airsoft pistol, which looked liked a semi-automatic handgun, and pointing it at the officer.

Lazarus is accused of advancing toward the officer and asking the officer to shoot him.

The officer shot Lazarus in the abdomen after Lazarus allegedly continued advancing toward him.

Authorities said Lazarus had a note in his pocket that said he was dying of cancer and could not “do the deed myself.”

Lazarus did not appear to be in poor physical condition at his arraignment. His attorney Keith Grant said he could not provide a medical update on his client.

He is in custody at Lake County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond. He is due back in court May 29 and is due for trial July 8.

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