Veteran CPD officer Marco Simonetti charged with battery, official misconduct for Taser incident

CHICAGO (WLS) — A veteran Chicago police officer is charged with battery and official misconduct for an incident involving a Taser.

Marco Simonetti is charged with one count of aggravated battery and one count of official misconduct.

Prosecutors said the charges stem from an August 2021 incident, which was captured on his own body camera.

The video begins with Simonetti responding to a call of a suspicious person on the city’s Northwest Side. Arriving in the 3500-block of North Normandy, he immediately encounters Joshuak Habasek.

Their encounter is confrontational from the start.

“You live there?” You got ID or key?” Simonetti asks. Habasek responds he doesn’t have a key, and Simonetti threatens to take him into custody.

“Lock me up for what?” Habasek asks.

“For lying to me. You said you live here,” Simonetti responds.

The encounter escalates. Simonetti has Habasek place his hands on the hood of the car, grabs him by the wrists and, as he was denies that he’s arresting Habasek, Habasek takes off running toward the home.

Prosecutors said that’s when Simonetti, identified as the defendant, started chasing the man, who they call the victim, yelling, “I’m going to tase you!” and “get down on the ground!”

Prosecutors said a short standoff in the yard ensued with the man moving between standing and crouching.

Prosecutors said Simonetti deployed his Taser as the man was crouched with his hands on the ground. Prosecutors said the victim was struck in the arm and forehead, causing him to fall forward. He sustained injuries to his face and head, convulsed and lost consciousness for a period of time, according to prosecutors.

The bodycam video shows him convulsing and losing consciousness.

Prosecutors said after the incident Simonetti radioed to say he “had to” use his Taser, while later saying in a report that he “unintentionally deployed the Taser.”

“It was revolting. It was incredibly difficult to watch. Josh was doing everything he was being told to do,” said attorney Basileios Foutris.

Internal Affairs for Chicago police has been quietly investigating the Taser confrontation since last year.

“They knew that this video existed. Multiple levels of supervisors undoubtedly saw it. And yet nothing is done,” Foutris said.

“Generally we don’t respond to ongoing investigations from employment circumstances, so I will say we’re in the process of relief of powers because he was arrested, and that investigation will obviously be ongoing and will conclude at some point with some recommendation for ultimately disciplining the officer,” said CPD Supt. David Brown.

Court documents say Simonetti has worked for CPD since 1994.

Simonetti posted $5,000 bond Thursday afternoon and was released from custody.

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