Man Claims Cops Were Just a Gang
CHICAGO (CN) - Criminal cops in suburban Schaumburg stole $5,000 from a man's grandmother, the man claims in court.
Kelley Altom sued the Village of Schaumburg and its police Officers Matthew Hudak and Terrance O'Brien, in Federal Court.
O'Brien, Hudak and another Schaumburg officer were arrested in January and charged with robbing drug dealers and reselling the drugs through an informant, the Chicago Tribune reported.
After the informant tipped off the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, the feds collected audio and video surveillance of the officers and arrested them in a sting operation. O'Brien told an investigator that they did it "for the thrill of it," according to the Jan. 17 Tribune report.
Altom says in his complaint: "On January 16, 2013, three Schaumburg police officers were arrested and charged: Terrance O'Brien and Matthew Hudak, defendants in this case, along with [fellow Officer] John Cichy. These officers were charged with multiple felonies. Following the arrests, large bonds were issued to the officers. These officers are currently fighting the charges."
Altom claims the officers "essentially ran a robbery ring which entailed illegally entering persons' homes; conducting illegal searches of homes, vehicles, and persons; false arrests; stealing narcotics and money; and engaging in physical abuse, intimidation and threats in order to extort narcotics and money as well as cover up the officers' own illegal conduct."
Altom claims he was a victim of the officers' conspiracy in 2011.
"On or about February 24, 2011, Defendants Hudak, O'Brien and other currently unknown police officers executed a search warrant at plaintiff's residence in Schaumburg," the complaint states.
"The search warrant was issued based upon an affidavit of defendant Hudak.
"Defendant Hudak made knowingly false statements in the affidavit.
"Without these false statements, the search warrant would not have been issued.
"During the execution of the search warrant, the defendant-officers, including
defendants Hudak and O'Brien, pointed their weapons at plaintiff's head.
"Plaintiff was violently shoved to the ground during the search.
"Plaintiff was complying with the defendant-officers and did not pose a risk to them while they pointed their guns at plaintiff's head and when they shoved him to the ground.
"After searching plaintiff's home, defendants Hudak and O'Brien went to plaintiff's grandmother's home in Hoffman Estates. Plaintiff was not with the defendant- officers at this time.
"Defendant Hudak falsely claimed that plaintiff stated he lived at the Hoffman Estates home, and that the Schaumburg home - which defendants had just searched - was vacant. ...
"The defendant-officers, including defendants Hudak and O'Brien also searched the Hoffman Estates home.
"The defendant-officers did not have a search warrant for the Hoffman Estates home.
"Defendant-officers removed about $5,000.00 in cash from the Hoffman Estates home. The defendant-officers only inventoried $2,820.00 of the $5,000.00. The remaining $2,180.00 was seized and converted by the defendant-officers.
"Plaintiff was charged with Unlawful Production and Unlawful Possession with Intent to Deliver Cannabis. The case was docketed in the Cook County Circuit Court as: People v. Kelley Altom, 11 C3 30243.
"On July 28, 2011, a hearing was held regarding the search warrant at issue. The judge granted plaintiff's motion quash the search warrant and the charges against plaintiff were dismissed."
Altom seeks damages for excessive force, unreasonable search, breach of due process, and civil conspiracy.
He is represented by Louis Meyer with Meyer & Kiss.
Schaumburg, pop. 73,500, is a wealthy, far west suburb of Chicago. Its median household income of $66,315 was 23 percent above the state median of $53,966 in 2009, according to city-data.com.