OAK LAWN, Ill. — An Oak Lawn police officer was in court Wednesday and charged with battery and misconduct in connection with an incident that left a teen hospitalized last summer.
Officer Patrick O’Donnell plead not guilty to four felony charges in Cook County court.
The charges stem from the arrest of an armed teen last year that turned violent.
On Wednesday, fellow officers showed their support for O’Donnell at the courthouse.
The 32-year-old officer is charged with two counts of aggravated battery and two counts of official misconduct after he punched an armed teen in the face several times during an arrest.
Witness video shows O’Donnell hitting Hadi Abuatelah, 17, with a closed fist in the middle of the street as another officer held the teen down on July 27, 2022.
O’Donnell plead not guilty, was placed on bond and walked out with his fellow officers.
Oak Law Police Department Chief Daniel Vittorio has voiced his support for his officer’s actions.
The Arab American Action Network staged a protest over the incident back in July.
On Wednesday, organizer Muhammed Sankari said policing needs to change.
“If officers are trained that while two other adults are restraining a child, repeatedly punch them in the face, you grab their hair and you repeatedly punch them in the face and you break their nose and you fracture their pelvis and you cause internal bleeding in their brain, what is wrong with policing in this state? That’s unacceptable,” Sankari said.
Illinois State Police conducted the use of force investigation into the arrest of Abuatelah.
Sankari feels more charges should be issued to the other two officers seen on video.
“The reality is that there is one person that was in the courtroom today that almost killed someone and that’s Officer O’Donnell,” Sankari said. “And there should have been two additional people in that courtroom.”
O’Donnell is still employed with the department and on administrative duty.
The Arab American Action Network is holding a rally Wednesday evening to push for the other two officers who were involved in the arrest to be charged.
The Village of Oak Lawn released the following statement.
The Village of Oak Lawn has received multiple inquiries related to the recent indictment of Officer O’Donnell since it first became public. Unfortunately, beyond what we first learned about it in the media 2 weeks ago, we haven’t received any information about the indictment, despite making multiple requests.
We contacted the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office multiple times, including twice in writing, to request information, including the report they received from the IL State Police in January. This was referenced in the media story and was presumably what led to the indictment, but again that’s speculation because the State’s Attorney is not communicating with the Village.
We also contacted the State Police to ask for a copy of their report, but they referred us back to the Cook County State’s Attorney who, again, hasn’t responded to or even acknowledged our several inquiries.
We wish that we had more to share, but things are still unfortunately very unclear at this point.
Our only hope is that seeking justice and applying fairness are the only motivators involved in this matter.Village of Oak Lawn