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Law and Order Lake County

Updated: March 17, 2013 6:33PM



East Chicago

Jury acquits county cop of battery

A Lake County police officer was acquitted of misdemeanor battery and disorderly conduct charges during a bench trial on Thursday.

Louis Vasquez, 32, of East Chicago, who has been on restricted duty since the charges were filed in the Sept. 15 incident, was acquitted during a trial before Hammond City Court Judge Jeffrey Harkin, defense attorney John Cantrell said.

Cantrell said when Hammond police arrived at about 3 a.m. at the Flick’s Bar parking lot, the officer parked about 100 feet from where a man in a red shirt was fighting with someone. Vasquez, who was wearing a red shirt, was arrested.

But Cantrell said he provided testimony from the wife of an off-duty Chicago police officer, who also was wearing a red shirt that night. The wife testified she had been punched in the face inside the bar while they were celebrating a relative’s birthday, and that her husband had gone outside to confront the individual.

Cantrell said his client, who was off-duty at the time, and the Chicago officer were the same height, had similar builds and both had shaved heads. Cantrell said Vasquez was outside trying to break up a fight when Hammond police arrived and arrested him.



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