Dozens of people gathered at the Will County Courthouse on Monday to support a Sheriff’s deputy who is facing a disorderly conduct charge following an incident at his daughter’s school in December.
“It was an immense feeling of appreciation that people would take time out of their daily lives to show support to us,” said Deputy Edward Goewey.
Goewey’s attorney, Bob Bodach, said his client was off-duty when he learned that a student had previously made a gun threat at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Mokena in the same classroom as his daughter.
Bodach said Goewey was at the school several days after the student’s original threat, and that the student was still in class.
“Deputy Goewey wanted to address the situation due to his training and experience,” Bodach said. “He was able to make sure that his daughter was taken out of the classroom, but he still remained because he wanted to make sure that other parents and other children were protected.”
According to the criminal complaint, Goewey remained at the school after being asked to leave and to stop yelling. The complaint also alleged Goewey was told numerous times that the school had dealt with the student in question.
Bodach disputes the version of events included in the complaint, saying that his client identified himself as a police officer and that he was trying to assist in the response to the incident.
“We allege that the allegation that he (Goewey) tapped his hip and identified himself as a police officer does not rise to the occasion of alarming and disturbing an individual,” Bodach said.
Goewey’s defense argues that several days after the event, the Diocese of Joliet changed its procedures for handling threats.
“I believe if the schools and the Diocese of Joliet had been properly protected with a policy in place, that the events that transpired on Dec. 3 would not have been necessary,” Goewey said.
The Diocese of Joliet did not specifically answer our request for comment on any changes it may have made regarding safety protocols. However, the diocese said the facts of the case will come out at the trial and they have no further comment at this time.
Meanwhile, a Will County judge denied the defense’s motion to drop the charges and a special prosecutor has been appointed the case.
Goewey is a distinguished service award winner currently recovering from injuries sustained while apprehending a violent offender in 2020.
He said his children no longer attend St. Mary’s.