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Man tries to grab deputy’s gun at Leighton Criminal Courthouse: cops

Updated: February 14, 2013 6:47PM

Despite the accounts of various courthouse workers, a Cicero man with serious mental health issues never got control of a deputy’s gun at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse Thursday, a Cook County sheriff’s spokesman said.

The man may have been trying to grab the officer’s gun, but at “no point did he have possession of the weapon,” Frank Bilecki said.

The man came to the lower-level probationary department with his parents Thursday morning, and at some point during a meeting, he “grew agitated” and went for the deputy’s gun, Bilecki said.

The apparently became irritated when he was told he would be involuntarily hospitalized, said James Dunaway, the president of the Probation Officers Union.

The man has been arrested several times for drugs, intimidation, stalking, domestic battery and assault, Bilecki said.

Authorities were seeking to charge him with attempting to disarm a peace officer, Bilecki said.

The officer who the man had allegedly lunged at complained of shortness of breath and remained hospitalized at Mount Sinai Hospital, Bilecki said.

The man also complained of an injury and was taken to Mount Sinai, Bilecki said.

Shortly before noon, the courthouse at 26th and California was buzzing with rumors of a man with a gun.

And many, including Dunaway, said the man did have the deputy’s gun for a few “seconds” before it was taken away from him.

“He’s got a gun. He’s got a gun,” Dunaway said someone screamed, leading a panicked chain-reaction through the bustling courthouse.

Two interns were handling the man’s case, but two mental health supervisors also were there too, Dunaway said.

Still, Dunaway said, ideally a sworn probationary officer should have been conducting the interview — not interns.

Some sheriff’s deputies were overheard talking about the incident in an elevator later Thursday.

“Did you hear? They’re saying no gun was involved and only one officer responded,” said a female deputy, rolling her eyes.

When asked what he had heard, a male sheriff’s deputy shrugged and said, “I don’t know. At this point, I’ve heard eight different versions of what happened.”

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