Park Ridge teen pinned to ground by off-duty CPD sergeant in viral video

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ByLeah Hope via WLS logo
Thursday, July 7, 2022
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The parents of a 14-year-old boy are now pursuing legal action after their son was seen in a viral video getting pinned to the ground by an off-duty Chicago police sergeant in Park

PARK RIDGE, Ill. (WLS) -- The parents of a 14-year-old boy are now pursuing legal action after their son was seen in a viral video getting pinned to the ground by an off-duty Chicago police sergeant in Park Ridge.

On Friday afternoon, some suburban teens met outside a Park Ridge coffee shop on their bikes. They said one of the kids in the group tried to move another bike laying across the sidewalk. That's when the incident happened.

In cell phone video taken by a friend of the teen's, and given to his parents, you can see an adult pin the 14-year-old on the ground.

His parents say the teen is a straight-A student, three-sport athlete and active in the youth ministry with his church. Park Ridge police officers who responded to the scene told ABC7 the man kneeling on the teen was an off-duty Chicago police sergeant.

The teen's parents intend to include the video in their lawsuit against the sergeant.

"We hear the broken tears of our son crying, 'Get off me, please get off me,'" said Nicole Nieves, teen's mother.

"It made it difficult to breathe, it humiliated him, it confused him, it caused him anxiety," said Antonio Romanucci, attorney for the teen. "He began to cry. He was being accused of stealing a bike that he had no idea who it belonged to."

The boy's attorney and parents, who are of Puerto Rican descent, emphasized the 14-year-old was the only brown child in the group of kids.

"Regardless of the circumstances, anyone getting physical with a minor as an adult, as an officer, for any reason other than self-defense is completely unacceptable," Nieves said.

"The video is very disturbing," said Park Ridge Police Chief Frank Kaminski.

Kaminski said the bike was stolen from the library prior to the incident at the coffee shop, and belonged to a CPD sergeant's son. When the sergeant found his son's bike outside the coffee shop, he saw the 14-year-old touch his son's bike.

Park Ridge police say the teen had his own bike and there are no allegations against him.

"We're taking it very seriously, we have since the beginning, and now with the opportunity to work with the state's attorney shows that we are at that level," Kaminski said.

Kaminski said he met with the Cook County State's Attorney's Office Wednesday. The Chicago Police Department also said they've launched an internal investigation into the incident.

The Chicago Civilian Office of Police Accountability is also investigating.

The teen's parents say he is still shaken by the incident and they are concerned about the lasting effect it may have on him.