Arthur Lovi, a widower who lives on the south side of Arlington Heights, had visited a psychologist/therapist for the first time in August 30 2012 when he stated that if he ever saw the doctor that treated his deceased wife, he would “beat him up” while emphasizing that he would not seek him out to assault him.
After the session was completed, the therapist notified Arlington Heights police about the statement, but also added that she didn’t think Lovi was actually going to carry out any threat to the doctor. The therapist also did not believe that Lovi was a threat to himself or any other individuals.
Police ended up searching Lovi’s home, which resulted in the confiscation of weapons and Lovi’s FOID card. Lovi has since had his firearms and FOID card (Firearms Owner’s Identification Card) returned to his possession, but has filed a lawsuit against the Village of Arlington Heights and several Arlington Heights police officers individually.
The following are claims made by Lovi in a lawsuit against the Village of Arlington Heights and several individual Arlington Heights police officers.
The lawsuit claims that Arlington Heights police first contacted the doctor that treated Lovi’s wife, and alerted him about the statement they learned about from the psychologist. The physician told police that he did not feel his safety was in jeopardy.
Arlington Heights police called Lovi at his home, and asked him about the conversation he had with his therapist.
Lovi spoke with an Arlington Heights police officer and confirmed that he said he would punch the doctor if he saw him, but said that he would never hurt the doctor and was just expressing his feelings to this therapist.
The police asked Lovi if he had any weapons at his home. Lovi replied that he has some antique firearms and a valid FOID card.
At about 11:00 p.m. on August 30, 2013, four Arlington Heights police officers arrived at Lovi’s Arlington Heights home. The police officers asked Lovi where his guns were located and he replied that they were in his den. Lovi claims the officers walked into his house, even though he did not give them consent to walk into his home.
Lovi claims he asked the officers if they had a warrant, and they replied that they could get a warrant, and that if he insisted they do that, they would come back and “tear the sh*% out of the house.”
A police officer seized the antique firearms and his FOID card. There was no ammunition associated with the firearms. Lovi and his lawyer, Louis J. Meyer did not have a search warrant, probable cause, exigent circumstances, or any other legal justification to seize Lovi’s antique firearms and FOID card.
After the illegal search and seizure at Lovi’s home, Lovi went to the Arlington Heights Police Department and received a receipt for his firearms and FOID card.
On September 1, 2012, Lovi called the Arlington Heights Police Departmentand asked for his firearms back.
Shortly after the phone call, an Arlington Heights police officer that had worked with Lovi’s late wife at Forest View High School arrived at Lovi’s home. Two other officers also arrived at Lovi’s home.
The lawsuit claims police officers asked Lovi questions about his wife. Lovi became upset and told police officers that he did not want to talk about his wife. The police officers radioed for an ambulance to the scene.
The officers told Lovi that he needed to get in the ambulance and go to the hospital. Lovi told police that he did not want to go to the hospital.
The officers told Lovi that if he did not go into the ambulance willingly, they would handcuff him and physically put him in the ambulance. Lovi was transported to Northwest Community Hospital, where he was evaluated and it was determined that he did not need to be committed as there were no signs that he would be a harm to himself or others. Lovi was released from the hospital the same day.
For the next two months, Lovi repeatedly tried to get his firearms and his FOID card released from the Arlington Heights Police Department, but failed.
Finally, in late October 2012, Lovi hired an attorney to assist him in securing the return of his property. When Lovi received his property back, one of the firearms, which is a collector’s item, was damaged. This collectable firearm was not damaged at the time it was confiscated by police, according to the lawsuit. Lovi took the firearm to a gun shop to get it repaired.
The lawsuit claims that Lovi suffered damages including loss of property and pecuniary damages including medical expenses, attorneys’ fees, and property damage.
The lawsuit claims Unreasonable Seizure of Property, Failure to Intervene with police officers’ indifference to Lovi’s right to be free from unreasonable seizures of property, Unreasonable Search of Home, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Willful and Wanton Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress in the scope of employment, and that the Village of Arlington Heights is liable for any judgments for compensatory damages arising out of the police officers’ actions.
See also …
Daily Herald (by Melissa Silverberg) Arlington Heights man, police in dispute over confiscating his guns