Prosecutors: Juvenile detention center employee beat teen

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An assistant team leader at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center allegedly picked up a 15-year-old boy, slammed him to the ground, and smothered him so hard with his 210-pound body that the teen became unconscious.

But Michael Lynch’s attorney, John Lyke, said his client was “just doing his job” Sunday in trying to discipline the boy at the facility commonly known as the Audy Home, in the 1100 block of South Hamilton Avenue.

But Cook County prosecutors said Lynch, 27, viciously attacked the boy for not going to his room when he was asked.

While watching television, the boy and his friend got into an argument over who owed snacks to whom, and then one of them pretended to charge toward the other one, Assistant State’s Attorney Erin Antonietti said at Lynch’s bond hearing Friday.

The pair ended up laughing over the fight and hugged but Lynch still ordered them to go to their assigned rooms, Antonietti said.

The other boy went to his room, but the 15-year-old remained, angering Lynch, prosecutors said.

Lynch was so mad, he allegedly picked the boy up with his two hands and then slammed him to the ground.

While he was on the floor, Lynch pressed his body on top of the boy’s, causing the teen to go unconscious and limp, Antonietti said.

Lynch and another employee checked on the boy but he remained unconscious, Antonietti said.

Lynch ended up dragging the boy to his room by his feet, Antonietti said.

A nurse was called and the boy regained consciousness ten to fifteen minutes later, Antonietti said.

The boy was given an ice pack.

He suffered a concussion and had bruising to his forehead and right eye, Antonietti said.

Ten other juveniles witnessed the incident, which was caught on surveillance tape, Antonietti said.

But Lyke said at least three other Audy Home workers said Lynch was not at fault.

“The videotape will set him free,” Lyke said after Lynch was ordered held in lieu of $25,000 bail for aggravated battery and official misconduct.

Lynch was only trying to restrain the boy and they both fell down, Lyke said.

The boy “was never unconscious,” Lyke said.

“He [Lynch] was just doing his job,” the defense attorney.

“….You’re dealing with a bunch of unruly children and sometimes they don’t want to obey or follow directions.”

Lynch, who wore jeans and a Bears sweatshirt in court, has a previous theft conviction for which he was sentenced to supervision.

Lynch, of the 3200 block of South Prairie Avenue, also has been arrested for assault, battery and disorderly conduct in Peoria, Antonietti said.

Lyke said Lynch has worked at the detention center for 19 months and has an undergraduate degree from Bradley University and a master’s degree from the University of Phoenix.

Lynch’s fiancée was in court Friday but did not comment after.

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