An Oak Park police officer has been placed on administrative leave following accusations that he and three others, one of them a Chicago Police sergeant, beat two men outside a nightclub in Andersonville on Sept. 29.
Oak Park Police Officer Dwayne Jones is accused in a civil lawsuit of attacking the two men outside @mosphere, a gay nightclub at 5355 N. Clark St., along with Chicago Police sergeant Eric Elkins, 44, and two friends, Jeffrey and Giovanni Rodriguez.
Attorney Timothy Cavanagh, of the Chicago-based Cavanagh Law Group, claims in the lawsuit that his client John Sherwood was at the nightclub with two friends, a man and a woman, when Jones and the other defendants became rowdy while doing shots.
They began throwing limes at one another and one of the limes hit his client. One of the people in Jones' party fell into Sherwood's table.
They asked Jones and his party to leave, and one of the defendants punched Sherwood.
Sherwood and his party decided to leave without throwing a punch, the lawsuit claims.
Elkins followed the party out and began punching Sherwood. Jones and the others are accused of joining in on the attack on Sherwood and his companion Tomasz Stacha.
Both Sherwood and Stacha sustained serious injuries and were taken to Weiss Memorial Hospital and later transferred to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. Sherwood suffered a broken leg so serious that the bone stuck out of his leg, a hole in his esophagus and multiple fractures to his face, among other injuries.
Sherwood underwent surgery that required installation of metal bolts and plates in his broken leg.
Cavanagh said in a telephone interview that Giovanni and Jeffrey Rodriguez were arrested the night of the crime and fingered Elkins and Jones in the crime.
"We have body cams of interrogations showing the Rodriguezes outed the CPD sergeant and the Oak Park officer by name," Cavanagh tells Wednesday Journal.
Oak Park spokesman David Powers said in a telephone interview that Jones was put on paid leave on Oct. 18 pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
He noted that Jones is a probationary officer, hired by the police department in January and sworn in on the first week of June.
"All officers are probationary officers for 18 months," Powers said.
* This article was updated to correct the spelling of Timothy Cavanagh's name.
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