CHICAGO – A retired Chicago police officer accused of making phone calls threatening to hurt investigators of an Illinois officer's fatal shooting unless they declared the death a suicide posted bond Tuesday, his lawyer said.
Joseph A. Battaglia's attorney told The Associated Press his client had posted the required $10,000 cash and expected to be released the same evening. Earlier in the day, Lake County Associate Judge Christen Bishop refused a defense request to lower the $100,000 bond.
Myron Goldstin, the attorney, said he told the judge that if his client ever made the alleged threatening statements it was "stupid and wrong." He is remorseful for even making a telephone call, Goldstin added.
Battaglia, 54, is accused of threatening a coroner and other investigators of the Sept. 1 shooting of Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz, who had just radioed in that he was chasing three suspects. His death made national headlines and prompted a manhunt around Fox Lake, some 50 miles north of Chicago. The investigation is ongoing.
There's no indication Battaglia had any insight into the case beyond what has been reported by media.
A court clerk's office on Tuesday provided an unsealed probation officer's report to the AP. It noted Battaglia had no criminal history and recommended his bond be lowered. The report also said Battaglia indicated he had only $500 available for bond.
The report adds that Battaglia has no history of mental illness. It also said he is divorced and supports three teenage children on a police pension of $3,100 a month.
Battaglia was arrested at his suburban Oak Lawn home Saturday on charges of felony disorderly conduct. He is accused of threatening Lake County Coroner Dr. Thomas Rudd and the head of the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force, George Filenko, among others.
Rudd said last week he hadn't ruled out homicide, an accident or suicide in Gliniewicz's death, telling reporters a "devastating" gunshot killed the officer. Filenko responded by lashing out at the coroner, accusing him of jeopardizing the investigation by publicly discussing details of the officer's wounds.
A conviction on a charge of felony disorderly conduct carries a maximum penalty of three years in state prison, Goldstin said. Battaglia's next hearing is scheduled for Oct. 6.
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