by Michael Gilbert
An off-duty Orland Park police officer was hospitalized and unable to work for more than a week after he was attacked during a melee at a wedding reception on March 18, police said.
The 45-year-old officer, whose name is being withheld by police, was off-duty, working as a security guard at Silver Lake Country Club when he received a complaint from club employees at 11:40 p.m. that men were in the women’s rest room, Orland Park Police Cmdr. Charles Doll said.
Upon investigating, the officer was pushed into a wall by one of the men and as he went to arrest him another man started to attack the officer, police said. Several more members of the wedding reception rushed in and attacked the officer, Doll said.
“The officer tried to speak with one of the subjects at which point another man started to attack the officer and then a large group of people started to punch and kick him,” Doll said. “He was bleeding, had his clothes ripped and he was choked to the point that he thought he was going to pass out.”
Orland Park police arrived minutes later to break up the melee after receiving a call of an officer in need of assistance, police said. Arrested the night of the incident were George A. Terrell, 25, of Chicago and his cousin Jason T. Terrell, 27, of New Lenox. George Terrell was charged with battery and Jason Terrell was charged with battery and disorderly conduct, police said.
Orland Park police rearrested both men at their homes at 6:45 p.m. on March 23 and charged them with aggravated battery to a police officer, a felony, and resisting arrest, a misdemeanor, police said. Bond for both was set at $10,000 following a hearing on March 24.
Jason R. Bjork, 25, of Homer Glen, was also arrested for his alleged involvement in the incident. He was charged at 9:30 a.m. on March 24 with misdemeanor aggravated assault to a police officer, police said. Bond was set at $1,000.
The Cook County States Attorney’s Office has authorized additional arrests in connection with the attack, Cmdr. Doll said. Those individuals are still being sought by police.
The officer was transported to Palos Community Hospital for treatment. He spent the night in the hospital before being released the following morning, Doll said. He missed more than a week of work before returning to active police duty Monday, police said.
“The officer suffered bruises, abrasions and a lot of swelling,” Doll said. “Basically what you can expect when you get attacked.”