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Man accused of attempting suicide by cop considered for mental health court

Howard Lazarus 54 Mundelecharged with aggravated assault police officer. | Special Sun-Times Media

Howard Lazarus, 54, of Mundelein charged with aggravated assault of a police officer. | Special to Sun-Times Media

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Updated: July 2, 2013 6:58AM



The Mundelein man accused of walking in to Vernon Hills police department for suicide by cop will either get referred to a specialty court or go to trial.

Howard Lazarus, 53, was in court Wednesday, May 29, before Circuit Judge Daniel Shanes for a pretrial hearing. He is charged with aggravated assault for allegedly pulling out an airsoft pistol and pointing it at police officer after he walked into the police station April 3, officials said.

He is said to have asked the officer to shoot him. Officials said Lazarus had a note in a pocket stating that he was dying of cancer and could not “do the deed myself.”

Lazarus is due for trial July 8.

Assistant State’s Attorney Lauren Kalcheim Rothenberg told Shanes Wednesday that this was a realistic trial date.

“Lazarus is being considered for mental health court,” Kalcheim Rothenberg said.

Mental health court is one of three specialty courts in the 19th Judicial Circuit. Like drug court and veteran’s court, mental health court connects defendants with specialty services. If Lazarus is accepted into mental health court, he will receive mental health treatment.

The goal for the program is treatment for all participants, according to Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office. Mental health court has 23 participants currently enrolled in the program and deals with defendants in the pre-plea, plea and bond supervision stages, according to Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Lazarus is due back in court June 21 for a pretrial hearing unless he is accepted into mental health court, Shanes said.

Lazarus is in custody at Lake County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond. He has pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault. He faces up to three years in prison if convicted.



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