Chicago, IL — A 17-year-old troubled kid who allegedly carjacked a motorist should be riding out his sentence in prison for his crimes. However, because Chicago Police Department lieutenant Wilfredo Roman — with a history of excessive force complaints — couldn’t contain his sadistic and violent impulses, that 17-year-old kid will likely be receiving a hefty sum of taxpayer money.
The incident unfolded on February 9, 2021 when the 17-year-old and a 16-year-old allegedly approached a man sitting in a 2005 silver Mazda on the 1900 block of North La Crosse Avenue, and carjacked him at gunpoint.
Police reported that Roman spotted the car about 20 minutes later and attempted to pull them over. The teens then ditched the car and Roman reported over the radio that they were fleeing on foot.
According to police, the 16-year-old threw a Hi-Point C9 handgun over a fence before attempting to jump the fence to get away. Before he could scale the fence, however, police took him down and he was arrested.
The 17-year-old boy did not attempt to flee once police told him to stop and he immediately surrendered and was placed in handcuffs. Once in custody, the teen told officers that his handcuffs were too tight and while one officer adjusted the cuffs, Roman saw his opportunity to sexually assault the teen with his flashlight.
As the teen was handcuffed and pressed against the car, Roman yelled at him to “shut up!” before walking up behind him and shoving his flashlight up the teen’s buttocks.
According to the body camera footage, the teen yelled out in pain as Roman again barked at him to “shut up!”
“That’s what you get for carjacking,” Roman told the boy as he walked away.
After the body camera footage came to light, Roman was subsequently suspended with pay in July and charged this month with two felonies, aggravated battery and official misconduct.
During a recent hearing this month, Roman’s police union-appointed attorney downplayed the sexual assault via flashlight and likened it to a spanking.
“This is a spank or a spanking, for the love of God. I had nuns that treated me far worse,” Roman’s attorney James McKay told Cook County Judge Arthur Wesley Willis during Roman’s hearing. “Your honor, the flashlight in question is smaller than my pen,” he added.
The court, however, disagreed and pointed out the obvious — the teen was in custody, no longer a threat, and Roman is not the judge, jury, and executioner.
“The fact that the individual may have engaged in a serious felony offense does not mean he should be treated in any way different than anyone else who may come into contact with police,” the judge replied. “That is not an argument that this court finds very persuasive.”
According to the Chicago Tribune, Roman has a tainted history with dozens of complaints mounted against him. Roman has been the subject of 40 citizen complaints during his career with the department, including allegations of excessive force and false arrest. He has also been sued for misconduct allegations at least three times in the past decade, according to the Tribune.
One of the excessive force lawsuits involved an 82-year-old woman who alleges that Roman tasered her for no reason. Though he’s been the subject of 40 complaints, he wasn’t disciplined for any of them except for a reprimand involving a prisoner escape.
Highlighting his blue privilege, the judge allowed Roman to walk out of the court with no bail and he was also allowed to keep his service weapon and job.