Cicero town official found not guilty in battery of cop

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When a standoff between Naperville police and a despondent man ended last year with the arrest of Cicero Town Collector Fran Reitz and her fiancee, a Cicero spokesman said Naperville cops “overreacted and wrongfully abused” the couple.

On Thursday, a Will County jury took Reitz’s side.

Reitz, 52, was found not guilty of battery and obstructing a peace officer, both misdemeanors, stemming from the July 31, 2013, incident at the Naperville home of her fiancee, Anthony Garcia.

Naperville Police patrol officer Martin Creighton told the jury this week that Reitz cursed, yelled and tried to slap his hand and shove him when the officer tried to search Garcia’s house in the 2500 block of Brockton Circle. An hours-long standoff there involving a possibly suicidal Garcia relative had just ended.

But Reitz testified that an aggressive Creighton grabbed her left arm and shoved her out the front door, tossing her “10 feet” through the air and into the bushes. Her lawyer, Barry Pechter, said Creighton’s testimony didn’t match that of other officers who testified at Reitz’s trial.

“I said from the very beginning, I believed she would be vindicated,” Pechter said. “And she was.”

Creighton said he was told to secure the home and search for weapons and medication when the standoff at Garcia’s house ended. He said Garcia gave police written permission to do so. But before he could begin, he said Garcia and Reitz “came barging in the front door.”

“[Garcia and Reitz] both started yelling at us, ‘You need a warrant, you need a warrant,’” Creighton said.

When Reitz refused to leave, he said he put his hand on the back of her left arm and tried to escort her out.

That’s when he said Reitz started yelling, slapped at his hand and tried to push him. So, he grabbed her firmly by the left arm to lead her out of the house, but he said Garcia jumped on his back — and they all fell into the bushes outside the house.

But Reitz told the jury she was calmly having a conversation with other officers when Creighton got “close to my face” and asked “do you even live here?” When she leaned back and said she didn’t, she said Creighton grabbed her arm “very firmly,” led her through the front door and shoved her.

Garcia, 51, also was charged and pleaded guilty to battery earlier this year, court records show. He was sentenced to one year of supervision.

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