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2 Chicago Police Officers Face Aggravated Battery Charges After Allegedly Beating Teen In Woodlawn

By Mary Chappell and Jackie Kostek

CHICAGO (CBS) – Two Chicago Police officers were released from jail late Wednesday after being charged with beating a teenager back in January.

The officers were charged with felony aggravated battery in the public way and felony official misconduct, the Cook County State's Attorney said Wednesday.

As CBS 2's Jackie Kostek reported, we have learned that both officers have been with the Chicago Police Department for seven years, and that both also served in the U.S. military - with one of them being awarded a Bronze star.

The charges against officers Victor Guebara, 40, and Jeffery Shafer, 35, stem from an incident involving the pursuit and beating of a 17-year-old boy Jan. 10 who had stolen a Chevy Camaro, according to court documents.

Image 9-1-21 at 1.28 PM
Jeffrey Shafer and Victor Guebara

The officers pursued the stolen Camaro — which had three teenagers inside — through residential streets and at one point the Camaro lost control and drove onto the sidewalk, eventually broadsiding Guebara and Shafer's squad car at a low speed, according to court documents.

Other officers began to respond and the victim crashed the Camaro into a brick garage in an alley before the teens all got out of the car and started to run.

An assisting officer saw the victim running through a vacant lot at 6450 S. Cottage Grove Ave. in the Woodlawn community and ordered him to show his hands, court documents say. He then fell to the ground and sat upright with his arms extended above his head, prosecutors said. The assisting officer turned him onto his abdomen and put the teen's arm behind his back to handcuff him, prosecutors said.

As the assisting officer started to put the handcuffs on, Guebara parked the squad car on a sidewalk nearby and approached the victim, striking him in the face with a closed fist as he lay on his abdomen, prosecutors said.

Shafer then exited the car and straddled the victim from behind and struck him in the head with a closed fist four times and then pushed his face into the concrete sidewalk, according to court documents.

The teen moved his arms around his head to protect his head and face and then he was handcuffed, prosecutors said. As Shafer brought the teen to his feet, he pushed him face-first into a metal fence, causing a laceration to his forehead, prosecutors said. Neither Shafer nor Guebara activated their body cameras for the incident, but it was captured by the body cameras of assisting offers and a nearby police observation device camera on the street, prosecutors said.

After the teen was taken into custody, authorities recovered a firearm from the glove box of the Camaro. Shafer and Guebara alleged the teen pointed it at them, but court documents said neither cop said that over police radios at the time or told assisting officers or said anything to the victim during his arrest.

The victim was charged in a juvenile petition with aggravated battery, aggravated assault to a peace officer, unlawful use of a weapon, unlawful possession of a firearm under 18 years of age and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. The charges were dismissed June 23.

The officers' attorneys said the teen was resisting arrest and the officers were doing their job.

We looked into both officers' history with the department. Data from the Invisible Institute shows Officer Shafer was found to have used excessive force during an incident in 2016. It is unclear if he was disciplined by the department.

We didn't find any complaints against Officer Guebara.

Guabara and Shafer appeared in bond court Wednesday where their bond was set at $10,000. A special condition of bail was granted — no contact with the victim in the case.

Their next court date is Sept. 10 at 11 a.m.

The CPD said after this happened in January, both officers were assigned to desk duty and could face more disciplinary action, depending on what happens in this criminal investigation.

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