Watch CBS News

Chicago Police Lt. Wilfredo Roman Charged With Aggravated Battery, Accused Of Putting Flashlight Between Teen Carjacking Suspect's Buttocks

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A Chicago Police lieutenant has been arrested and charged with aggravated battery, on charges that he shoved a flashlight between a teenage boy's buttocks while making an arrest in Belmont Cragin in February.

Chicago Police said Lt. Wilfredo Roman surrendered for arrest to members of the CPD Bureau Internal Affairs Division at the Central (1st) District police station on Wednesday night.

He was charged with felony aggravated battery in a public place and official misconduct.

His bond was set at $5,000 on Thursday afternoon. As CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey reported, Roman walked out on an I-bond, meaning the police lieutenant didn't have to post any money, with a promise to return for his next court date. He left custody about two hours after his bond hearing.

Roman did not comment to reporters as he left.

Lt. Wilfredo Roman
Lt. Wilfredo Roman (Credit: Chicago Police)

The Cook County State's Attorney's office said on Feb. 9 around 8:35 p.m., two teenage boys - ages 16 and 17 – approached a man sitting in a 2005 silver Mazda in the 1900 block of North La Crosse Avenue. The 17-year-old pointed a gun at the man and demanded the keys, prosecutors said.

The man handed over the keys, and the 16-year-old drove off in the car, prosecutors said.

Around 8:55 p.m., Roman spotted the Mazda and called over police radio that the teens and had bailed from the car and run off, prosecutors said. Roman informed dispatch of the direction the teens had run, and started chasing them, prosecutors said.

More officers responded and saw the two teens running in an alley around 2022 N. LeClaire Ave., prosecutors said. When the officers approached the 16-year-old, he tried to climb a fence and threw a Hi-Point C9 handgun over the fence, prosecutors said.

An officer gave the 17-year-old a verbal command to surrender, and he did so – putting his hands in the air and getting on the ground, prosecutors said.

The officer then placed the teen in handcuffs, and the teen complained that the handcuffs were too tight, prosecutors said.

The officer adjusted the handcuffs, and the teen stopped yelling and began saying he had just been running, prosecutors said. While the officer was adjusting the handcuffs, Roman told the teen to, "Shut up!" prosecutors said.

Roman then approached the teen from behind and shoved his flashlight between the teen's buttocks, and told the teen again to, "Shut up!" when the teen yelled out, prosecutors said.

Roman then withdrew the flashlight, walked a short distance away from the teen, and then told him, "That's what you get for carjacking," prosecutors said.

The incident was captured on police body cameras, prosecutors said.

The teen was then placed in a squad car, and was later charged as a juvenile with aggravated vehicular hijacking and unlawful use of a weapon. That case is still pending.

Roman, 44, is has been with the Chicago Police Department since 2000.

A defense attorney said the flashlight in question was smaller than a pen, and the teen's pants were on. The defense attorney said Roman was merely trying to deescalate the situation.

Roman's attorney presented over 200 awards and other commendations to the court that the officer has received over the years. He also claimed the teen wasn't injured by the flashlight.

As for Roman's background, data collected by the watchdog group Invisible Institute shows Roman has been the subject of at least 40 misconduct allegations — 10 of which were for excessive force — but he wasn't disciplined for any of the allegations except for a reprimand involving a prisoner escape.

Roman was also named in a federal lawsuit in which he and another officer were accused of using a stun gun on an 82-year-old woman.

A Cook County Judge did not order Roman to turn in his service weapon. He said he is leaving that up to CPD.

The CPD said it relieved Roman of his police powers upon learning about the incident in July. Further disciplinary actions could follow pending the outcomes of criminal and administrative investigations.

Roman's arrest came a day after two Chicago Police officers were charged with beating a teenager in an unrelated incident in January.

The charges against officers Victor Guebara, 40, and Jeffery Shafer, 35, stemmed 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.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.