Cop Pleads Not Guilty in Fatal Drunken-Driving Crash

April 10 crash killed two young men

Chicago Police detective Joseph Frugoli pleaded not guilty Thursday on charges related to the fatal drunken-driving accident that claimed the lives of two young men last month.

Frugoli, 41, is accused of crashing into the disabled car of 23-year-old Andrew Cazares and Fausto Manzera, 21, on the Dan Ryan Expressway on April 10. He was off-duty at the time of the accident.

Tributes to Cazares and Manzera, two members of Chicago's graphic arts community, soon popped up, and flyers denouncing Frugoli were plastered in CTA 'L' cars, accusing him of being "piss drunk."  The rage that prompted the flyer may have begun a year and a half ago, when two acquaintances of Cazares and Manzera were killed -- also by an allegedly drunk off-duty Chicago cop.

Frugoli, who has been relieved of his police powers, is out on $500,000 bail.

The fatal crash wasn't Frugoli's first serious crash.  A week before the Dan Ryan incident, he was ordered to pay $7,100 to a man he rear-ended on the same expressway in 2005.

His next court date before Cook County Judge Lawrence Fox is scheduled for July 20.

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