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Chicago police sergeant allegedly took $1,000 bribe from diver famous for recovering Anthony Rizzo’s wedding ring from Belmont Harbor

The Marine Unit sergeant allegedly accepted the bribe in April 2017 in exchange for giving the diver access to the Chicago Harbor Lock to recover a lost boat propeller.

Sun-Times file photo

A Chicago police sergeant is accused of taking a bribe from a diver famous for recovering Chicago Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo’s wedding ring from the bottom of Belmont Harbor.

Marine Unit Sgt. Eduardo Beltran accepted the bribe in April 2017 from Yohei Yamada, who wanted access to the Chicago Harbor Lock to recover a lost boat propeller for a client, according to a charging document filed April 14 with the Chicago Police Board.

“Beltran accepted approximately $1,000, for personal use ... in exchange for using his official CPD position to gain access to the Chicago Harbor Lock to recover a lost boat propeller for Yamada’s client,” the document states. “Beltran utilized CPD equipment, resources, and/or personnel to effectuate the propeller recovery.”

Beltran allegedly covered up the incident by approving a false dive report written by a second police officer, Michael Michalik. The two allegedly let the diver use police sonar equipment.

In the charging document, Police Supt. David Brown recommended Beltran and Michalik be fired from the department. The Police Board is set to hear the charges May 18.

Michalik has resigned from the department and Beltran has been suspended without pay, police spokesman Anthony Spicuzza said.

Yohei Yamada in Lake Michigan at Burnham Harbor.
Yohei Yamada in Lake Michigan at Burnham Harbor in 2019.
Mitch Dudek / Sun-Times

Yamada, the diver, gained attention last July when he recovered Rizzo’s wedding ring that slipped off his finger into Belmont Harbor. “He’s lost a lot of weight recently and had just washed his hands and was kind of shaking it and it just flew off,” Yamada told the Chicago Sun-Times then.

Yamada, known as the go-to guy for such blunders, gave himself slim odds of finding the ring, which had sunk into weeds in 21 feet of water. But after 90 minutes, Yamada resurfaced with the ring and texted a photo to Rizzo.

Contributing: Mitch Dudek