A Calumet Park police officer tripped and choked a 16-year-old boy during an arrest last year, then covered it up by falsifying police reports, a Cook County prosecutor said in court today.
Officer Lynell Porch, 39, was charged with aggravated battery, official misconduct and filing a false report. His bail was set at $75,000.
Around 9:30 p.m. on June 16, 2010, Porch and his partner, both in plain clothes, responded to a call of suspicious men possibly selling narcotics at a car wash near 127th and Laflin streets, Assistant State’s Attorney Lynn McCarthy said in court. The officers came upon five teenagers and found no evidence of narcotics after a pat-down search, McCarthy said.
One of the boys, who was 16, allegedly made a “wisecrack” and laughed after Porch announced that he was the new gang and narcotics officer in Calumet Park, McCarthy said. Porch told the boy he was under arrest, handcuffed him and walked him to a police car. The victim did not resist arrest, McCarthy said.
While leading the boy to the car, Porch raised the boy’s arms behind his back, then Porch “intentionally” swept his foot across the boy’s feet, tripping the boy and causing him to land face-first on the concrete, McCarthy said.
The boy suffered a large abrasion on his face, cuts and bruises to his left shoulder and knee, and a broken tooth that required a root canal, McCarthy said. Four teens witnessed the tripping, she said.
Once at the police station, surveillance cameras show Porch removed the boy from the back of the police car by grabbing his throat and leading him to the booking room of the police station, where he pushed the boy onto a bench, McCarthy said.
Medical personnel were called to the station, and the boy was taken to the hospital to treat his injuries, McCarthy said.
Porch allegedly wrote false reports claiming the boy was obstructing and resisting arrest and pulled away from Porch, McCarthy said. Porch also claimed that the boy was struggling to free himself as the officer led him to the police car, then broke loose and fell to the ground, causing the facial abrasion, McCarthy said.
Calumet Park police confirmed Porch is a police officer but declined further comment. Porch has been a Calumet Park police officer since 2007, according to the state’s attorney’s office.
The boy’s mother filed a federal lawsuit last year on her son’s behalf against the Village of Calumet Park, Porch and an unidentified officer. Richard Dvorak, an attorney representing the boy and his mother, said the boy was never charged with a crime.
“It’s really gratifying to see that the state’s attorney’s office took these allegations seriously and followed through with my client’s complaint about this police abuse,” Dvorak said.
McCarthy said the state’s attorney’s office investigated the case as part of its ongoing efforts against public corruption and police misconduct.
Buster Porch, a former longtime Calumet Park mayor, said from his Alabama home that Lynell Porch is not related to him.
Lynell Porch is next due in court June 8.
Contributing: Jason Meisner