A melee broke out this afternoon after a bond hearing for a Chicago police detective charged with drunk driving and causing an auto crash two days ago that killed two people.
Joseph Frugoli, 41, was ordered held in jail in lieu of a $500,000 bail at the noontime hearing.
As the hearing ended, dozens of friends and relatives of the two victims spilled out into the halls of the Cook County criminal courthouse. Moments later, loud shouting could be heard echoing from the hallway near the courtroom and a fight then broke out, causing several Cook County sheriff's police officers to rush from the courtroom, their radios bursting with chatter.
Officers eventually pushed the crowd outside the main entrance of the courthouse, then across California Avenue onto a grassy area. Tense moments ensued, as people in the crowd hurled epithets at the police.
As of about 12:45 p.m., 10 officers stood guard in front of the courthouse and much of the crowd remained.
Cook County Sheriff's spokesman Steve Patterson said the family and relatives apparently became infuriated at the bail amount, and left the courtroom talking loudly. Once outside, they confronted passersby "insisting this was a travesty, that the police are covering this up, that because he's going to be released it's all a conspiracy," Patterson wrote in an e-mail.
from the Trib