ROUND LAKE BEACH, Ill. — The family of a suburban man who died in police custody last year are calling for the police officers involved to be charged.
The family of 21-year-old Abel Rosiles is not satisfied with officials ruling his death an accident.
On June 10, 2020, Round Lake Beach police responded to a Thornton gas station after an employee claimed Rosiles was yelling and threatening him.
Officers were trying to place Rosiles into custody when they said he ran. They caught up to him, arrested him and said he appeared to be in distress.
Officers asked if he swallowed something that could hurt him and he nodded “yes.” As officers waited for paramedics, they moved him to the grass and uncuffed him. Officers began CPR, then later used a tool to pull a plastic bag from Rosiles’ throat.
Following a field test, it was determined a substance in the plastic bag was cocaine. Rosiles was transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center and died eight days later.
“Their story does not make sense,” sister Galiea Rosiles said.
The family said Rosiles’ girlfriend saw police take him out of the gas station in handcuffs, talking to officers and question how he could have physically swallowed the baggie.
They hired Dr. Michael Baden, a forensic pathologist, to conduct a second autopsy. Baden determined Rosiles died from brain damage due to officers applying prone back pressure at the scene in addition to the bag in his throat.
Dr. Tom Rudd, the former Lake County coroner, said the bag was never fingerprinted or examined for DNA. On Monday afternoon, the family presented the new autopsy report and a letter to the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office — demanding that they reopen the case.
“We want those police officers off the street and criminal charges,” family friend Julie Contreras said.
Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said the case is still under investigation and that he has met with the family on multiple times.