A judge on Tuesday refused to reduce bond for a retired Chicago police officer accused of threatening to harm a coroner and other officials who are investigating the fatal shooting of a northern Illinois officer unless they categorized that death a suicide.
An attorney for 54-year-old Joseph A. Battaglia argued that while the incident was a "stupid, reckless act," the former officer never intended to act on the threats, but a judge ruled in a bond review hearing that Battaglia's $100,000 bond still stands.
Battaglia was arrested at his suburban Chicago home on Saturday on two counts of felony disorderly conduct and remains behind bars at the Lake County Jail, the Lake County Sheriff's Office said.
The Sept. 1 shooting death of Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz prompted a massive manhunt for potential suspects. But the county coroner, Dr. Thomas Rudd, said last week that he couldn't rule the death a homicide, an accident or suicide.
Gliniewicz, a 30-year police veteran who was nearing retirement, radioed he was chasing three suspects before the shooting, but no suspects have been arrested.
Battaglia allegedly threatened Rudd and his staff and task-force investigators in a telephone call Friday. In a statement announcing the allegations Sunday, the sheriff's department didn't offer other details, including Battaglia's possible motive.
Battaglia's attorney, Myron Goldstin, said Tuesday that the Chicago police veteran was emotional about the case and noted that he has no knowledge on whether the officer's death was a suicide.
"I can respect the judge's decision, but I disagree," Goldstin said. "Mr. Battaglia has never harmed anyone. Those comments, if he made them, were made out of frustration."
Lake County Undersheriff Raymond Rose said in Sunday's statement that "any intentional criminal acts to distract or impair our investigation will be actively investigated" and turned over to prosecutors.
"We will not tolerate any behavior which disrupts our investigative efforts," he said.
Battaglia is next expected to appear in court on Oct. 6.