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75 cases (tickets) dwindle to 2

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

75 cases (tickets) dwindle to 2

Gus PhilpottWoodstock Advocate
May 14, 2011

Last Tuesday Judge Condon arranged for the clerks in the courthouse to breathe a great sigh of relief, when he disposed of most of the 75 charges filed against Seth Pedersen from last September's chase. Remember that one? Wauconda Police apparently asked Island Lake Police to stop a driver who may have been at his ex-wife's house.

An Island Lake officer stopped Pedersen, but Pedersen drove away and the Island Lake cop gave chase. The cop later said he had chased Pedersen at 70MPH through a couple of "active" school zones (meaning, during school hours) and all the way to McCullom Lake before getting him stopped.

Originally reported as 55 tickets, the list grew to 75 cases. Probably the clerks were complaining about tired fingers, carpal tunnel and broken fingernails from having to update cases after many continuances (some of the cases had already been closed), and Judge Condon nolle prossed all the remaining charges but two on May 10. He held a 402 Conference, and Pedersen will be back in court on July 8 for sentencing on only two charges: Aggravated fleeing from police (21MPH over) and Aggravated DUI.

What types of charges were dropped? Improper passing on the left, including in no-passing zones; speeding 26-30 and 40 over the limit; reckless driving; DUI; transporting alcohol; uninsured vehicle; fleeing or attempting to elude; and disregarding stop signs and traffic signals.

Tickets were issued in the following jurisdictions (and dropped): Island Lake, Algonquin, Prairie Grove and McCullom Lake.

Were there any "lessons learned" at the Island Lake P.D.? Several officers have told me that chase should have been abandoned. The driver was known to police. The pursuing officer should have backed off and shut down his emergency equipment. Students and other drivers were lucky - very lucky - not to be involved in a serious crash.

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