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Joliet Police Officer Seriously Injured in Assault by Arson Suspect

Thu June 11 2009 4:00 am
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A Google Street view in the neighborhood where a Joliet Police officer was seriously injured in an assault.

Adam M. Mahelich, 29, of 920 Fairway Drive in Naperville was arrested after he was apprehended during an arson attempt at an ex-girlfriend’s house.

A 9-1-1 was received at 10:23 a.m. after Mahelich arrived at the girlfriend’s home in the 2000 block of Chestnut Grove Drive in the Wesmere subdivision.

Mahelichhe called earlier that morning demanding to see her and threw flower pots from the yard through windows and threatened to burn down the house. The girlfriend was not home, but other family members were home.

Mahelich left before Joliet police arrived, and a neighborhood search was conducted. While an unidentified 51-year-old police officer began to make a report from his squad car, Mahelich arrived and was identified by the victim’s family. Mahelich then attacked the police officer, a 16-year veteran, with a bear hug and head butts. Even after being pepper sprayed by the officer, Mahelich got on top of the officer and repeatedly punched him. Mahelich also struggled for the gun, which caused the officer to put both hands on his own gun holster and limit his ability to defend himself from other punches from the offender.

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The fight occurred for about three minutes, until backup arrived. Mahelich claimed he was going “pop” the officer with the gun. The offender was beaten with a collapsible baton in order to subdue his attack on first police officer.

The offender’s Jeep was found nearby and a search of the Jeep found two gallon-sized containers of gasoline that investigators were able to determine he had just purchased at a local gas station.

Both hospitalized suspect and the police officer were hospitalized at Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center. The Joliet police officer was listed in serious condition with a punctured lung (pneumothorax) )that resulted from a broken rib, and a broken orbital bone — the skull bone around the eye. The officer also suffered from other facial and internal injuries.

Mahelich was treated for minor leg injuries he sustained during the struggle.

Police plan to charge Mahelich with attempted arson to a residence, aggravated attempted arson, aggravated battery to a police officer, resisting arrest, disarming a police officer and criminal damage to property. Mahelich will also undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

View Chicagoland and Worldwide Crime Notebook Map in a larger map
A wider satellite view of the Wesmere Grove neighborhood between Joliet and Plainfield, Illinois where a man threatening to burn his ex-girlfriend’s house down was caught with gas cans and resisted arrest.

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