Hotel manager guilty of attempted murder for running over cop
BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN Criminal Courts Reporter email@example.com February 24, 2012 5:54PM
Updated: March 26, 2012 8:10AM
A hotel manager from Arlington Heights was found guilty of attempting to murder a Chicago Police officer by dragging him from his speeding Mercedes-Benz before pushing him out and running him over with his car near the busy Rush Street nightlife district.
Cook County jurors also convicted Michael Cacini, 36, of aggravated battery Friday for the April 20, 2010 attack that left Near North District officer Kristopher Rigan with a dislocated shoulder, missing teeth and abrasions to his arms.
The father of six was also convicted of striking Rigan’s partner Thomas O’Shaughnessy with his vehicle as O’Shaughnessy rushed to his colleague’s aid at 10 West Elm.
The bespectacled Cacini, who shook his head when the guilty verdicts were read, was taken into custody.
His wife, holding an infant, could be heard wailing outside Judge Mary Margaret Brosnahan’s courtroom when a family member went out to give her the news.
Cacini’s wife later screamed at Rigan and O’Shaughnessy as they walked by and then crumpled to the ground sobbing loudly.
Earlier in the week, Rigan, 33, tearfully testified how Cacini repeatedly punched him, grabbed him by his police vest and pulled his body halfway inside his black luxury car before driving off at a high rate of speed.
“Shoot! Shoot! Shoot!” Rigan said he called out to O’Shaughnessy who fired his service revolver but missed.
The plainclothes officer said he and O’Shaughnessy followed Cacini in their unmarked squad car because they saw the suburban man pick up a purported drug dealer and believed a possible narcotics transaction might take place.
O’Shaughnessy chased the alleged drug dealer when he darted out of the Cacini’s Mercedes while Rigan walked up to Cacini’s car to question him.
Rigan, who was wearing his badge around his neck as well as a duty belt, said Cacini remained belligerent even as he continuously announced his position as a police officer.
“F--- you. You’re not getting in my car until you get a warrant,” Rigan said Cacini yelled.
Soon, Cacini grabbed Rigan and shifted his car into drive as the officer’s legs dangled out of the vehicle.
Rigan became emotional recounting how his jaw slammed shut when he was thrown from the car, leaving bite marks on his tongue.
“The rear tire ran completely over my leg, my body and shoulder,” he said, his voice haltering. “I couldn’t move the left side of my body.”
Cacini also took the stand during the two-day trial, maintaining that he didn’t know Rigan and O’Shaughnessy were officers and thought he was about to be carjacked, his defense attorney said.
The cops were acting like “cowboys” and Rigan’s unprofessional bellow to “get the f--- out of the car” didn’t help, Cacini’s attorney Sam Amirante said in his closing arguments Friday.
Cacini said he drove to the city with his longhaired dachshund to let off some steam after he got into a fight with his wife. The vagrant he picked up, Cacini said, was only helping him look for an establishment that was open at 3 a.m. so he could get a drink. Assistant state’s attorney Mariano Reyna dismissed Cacini as a “liar” and said his testimony was nothing but a “fabrication.”
The only thing Cacini was afraid of was being caught with the marijuana other officers later found in his jacket when he was arrested 10 blocks away, Reyna said.
“The defendant didn’t want to get caught with these drugs on him. That’s what it comes down to,” Reyna said.
“This is a case of divergent tales of what really happened. One makes sense because it is the truth. The other is the self-serving statement of someone trying to get out of these charges.”
Cacini faces 20 to 80 years in prison.