PARK RIDGE, Ill. (WLS) -- A Chicago police sergeant pleaded not guilty to official misconduct and aggravated battery charges after an incident in Park Ridge last July.
The incident occurred on July 1 at a Starbucks in the 100-block of South Northwest Highway.
Video showed Michael Vitellaro, 49, pinning a 14-year-old boy to the ground after the off-duty sergeant found the boy touching his son's stolen bike.
The boy's family said he was just trying to move the bike out of the sidewalk and had nothing to do with the theft.
The teen's parents shared cell phone video of the incident. In it, the boy's friends can be heard yelling for Vitellaro to get off their friend as he is heard saying 'He's taking my son's bike.' The teen's family said they think the attack was racially motivated, as the 14-year-old is Puerto Rican and Vitellaro is white.
Vitellaro was charged with official misconduct and aggravated battery. In court on THursday, he entered a not guilty plea t the charges.
Vitellaro has also been relieved of his police powers.
The parents also said they are filing a lawsuit against the officer, and the Chicago Police Department and Civilian Office of Police Accountability have both started internal investigations.
Statement from parents Angel and Nicole Nieves
We are extremely relieved and pleased to see charges for what happened to our son, and we thank both the Park Ridge Police, Kim Foxx and the Cook County State's Attorney's office Law Enforcement Accountability Division for this important step in justice for our son. We are still trying to assess the full impact of this traumatic incident on our son, who is only 14 and still processing all that happened to him. There is absolutely no room in our community for this type of unnecessary aggression against our children and we are grateful for today's progress