ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. — A 43-year-old Wheeling man appeared in court Tuesday on charges of attempted murder for shooting and wounding an Illinois state trooper who was serving a warrant at the man’s home.
Police said Volodymyr Dragan shot the 32-year-old trooper on Aug. 15.
Questions have arisen since the arrest as to whether or not troopers followed protocol when they first arrested and then released him. According to court documents, Dragan held the arresting trooper at gunpoint inside the police cruiser.
Initially, Dragan was pulled over for speeding on his motorcycle on I-294 near Glenview Road around 1:30 a.m. Thursday. The trooper called in the license plate and learned Dragan had an active arrest warrant for contempt of court.
David Bradford is a retired downstate police chief and executive director of Northwestern University’s Center for Public Safety. He said traffic stops are one of the most potentially dangerous situations for law enforcement.
“The standard procedure would be if you’re taking a person into custody, you would handcuff that person, perform a pat-down, or what’s called a ‘terry search,’ before putting them into a secure, confined environment,” he said.
But according to court documents, that did not happen when Dragan was initially arrested.
The trooper escorted Dragan to the back of his squad car, then got in front.
According to court records, at that time Dragan said he “couldn’t go to jail” and pulled a gun from his waistband, cocked it and demanded to be let out of the squad car.
The trooper, along with another responding officer, negotiated with him and let him go.
Later that same day, state police obtained an arrest warrant and along with a SWAT team, went to Dragan’s home in the 400 block of Hickory Drive in Wheeling around 6:30 p.m.
Dragan refused to come out so officers used a battering ram to break down his garage door.
Dragan then fired two to three shots and hit an officer in the arm. The officer suffered non-life threatening injuries and was released from the hospital Friday.
Dragan eventually surrendered and was taken into custody.
Bradford feels it is a disservice to hold the trooper at the traffic stop accountable for what happened later but anticipates some follow up.
“It’s very easy to second guess,” he said. “Can you look at different situations by learning from them and critiquing them and having a debriefing? Absolutely. Should that debriefing occur? Absolutely.”
As far as policies and rules on cuffing, and frisking, each police agency is different.
WGN News reached out to Illinois State Police about their policy and are waiting to hear back.
Dragan was charged with attempted murder and aggravated battery of a police officer. He continues to be held without bail.
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