ROUND LAKE BEACH, Ill. (WLS) -- The family of a man hospitalized in intensive care claims police officers in north suburban Round Lake Beach used excessive force during his arrest.
Abel Rosiles Jr. has been lying in an ICU bed for nearly a week now. The Round Lake resident lost consciousness during an altercation with police at a Thornton's Gas station late on June 10.
Police said they were called to the gas station twice that night by the clerk, who said Rosiles was threatening him. Rosiles' family and friends, a large number of whom turned up to support him, believe officers caused his injuries by using excessive force as they attempted to restrain him.
"My brother is not perfect, but who is?" said Fabiola Rosiles.
But police tell a different story, one that includes Rosiles resisting arrest when they noticed he was choking.
"They tried to perform the Heimlich maneuver on him. Several times. A couple of officers tried it," said Round Lake Beach Police Chief Gilbert Rivera. "Eventually when rescue got there they were able to reach deep into his throat. I'm not saying on the edge, I'm saying deep into his throat and and pull out that baggie."
Police said the bag field-tested positive for cocaine.
Rosiles' attorney Frank Avila disputes those claims and pointed to a cell phone video he showed reporters, but would not publicly release. The video shows officers restraining Rosiles and a friend in a way Avila said is evidence of wrongdoing.
"It's not consistent with the story of the police," Avila said. "Because two men were on top of them with their knees and their hands in an aggressive manner and his head was hanging over the curb."
The investigation of the incident has now been turned over to the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force, which is calling on witnesses to turn over the cell phone video in question for their review.
"If you have evidence that this occurred, we definitely would be interested in seeing that," said Det. Heather Cognac. "Because without that information we cannot forward that to the state's attorney's office for review for charging."
Police said they will be releasing dash cam and surveillance video of the incident once it has all been gathered. The responding officers remain on duty.
Man hospitalized after Round Lake Beach police used excessive force in arrest, family claims