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Detainee In Fox Lake Police Beating Video Says He Was Pressured To Sign Settlement With Village

(CBS) – The detainee roughed up in a Fox Lake Police Department surveillance video from December 2014 tells CBS 2 he was pressured into signing a $4,000 settlement with the village.

The 2 Investigators got a tip earlier this year the then-police chief allegedly mishandled numerous problems in his department. CBS 2 requested video that was finally released Friday to media. It shows suspect Jeff Grzonka, 36, being manhandled in a cell by three members of the Fox Lake Police department.

"That's too much excessive force," Grzonka tells Savini as the two watched the video.

It shows, among other things, a detective shoving Grzonka, grabbing his neck, pushing his face and shoving the back of his skull into in a cement wall. He was then moved to a different cell and into a cell door.

Village administrator Anne Marrin, who announced suspensions for the police officers in the video, said Grzonka was paid $4,000 through a settlement agreement.

Grzonka, however, says a lawyer representing the village pressured him to sign an agreement while he was behind bars in September, on another charge.

The confidential deal came after the 2 Investigators informed the village CBS 2 knew the video existed. The news station filed a freedom-of-information act request over the summer. That is around the time village officials began looking into problems in the police department.

The police chief retired during the probe.

"The problems in the Fox Lake Police Department are deep-cultured and systemic," says attorney Antonio Romanucci, who is now representing Grzonka.

He adds: "I have never seen anything like that before, where a victim is forced, or asked to sign a settlement agreement, under duress while in jail."

The attorney says he will a file federal civil-rights lawsuit. He credits CBS 2 with forcing the village to release the video.

The misconduct comes to light several weeks after the on-duty suicide of Fox Lake Police Lt. Joseph Gliniewicz, whose death was initially investigated as a murder.

Village officials say Grzonka misbehaved while in custody but said the officers were wrong in the way they handled him.

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