Arrests made after possible political scuffle in Dolton

December 6, 2008 (DOLTON, IL)

The men say politics is behind the whole incident.

Whatever it is that transpired between former cook county commissioner Robert Shaw and this man, 48 year old Elliot Kozel this afternoon in Dolton has become a true case of he said, he said, with both sides alleging the other was the aggressor.

"He did strike me," said Robert Shaw. "He was assaulted, grabbed, pushed, and shoved," said Mike Joyce, defense attorney.

Dolton police chief Robert Fox said Saturday it was just after 1:15 PM when they got a report of a suspicious vehicle at 146th and Lincoln. That call came from Robert Shaw, who is now inspector general in Dolton. He claims, he and the town's inspector for public works were checking the streets for snow when they ran into Elliot Kozel's car. Several times, Shaw says he tried to approach to ask what they were doing. Each time the car pulled away. Until...

"I got out of the car on the drivers side...this individual struck me on the shoulder," said Robert Shaw, Dolton Inspector General.

But that is not the story told by Kozel's attorney or by Riley Rogers, a Cook County investigator campaigning for mayor of Dolton. Rogers says Kozel is a volunteer for his campaign. And that he was collecting signatures for his petition when Shaw drove up, and took the petitions away from him.

"I saw one of our volunteers being pursued by Mr Shaw...Mr shaw was trying to grab him around the neck," said Riley Rogers, Candidate for Mayor of Dolton.

Kozel's attorney says there is a 911 call to prove the story, but so far that has not been confirmed. Shaw's response however is unequivocal.

"Q: he never told you what they were doing? Shaw: Never told me. Q: You never knew he was with the campaign? Shaw: No, I didn't know. They didn't have any campaign stuff on them."

Kozel, who is a Cook County correctional officer on disability leave, was arrested and is now charged with battery. His attorney says he's trying but has so far been unable to file a countercharge.

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