Crash Victims Knew Others Allegedly Killed by Drunk Cop

Flyers, protestors harangue Frugoli after fatal crash

Flyers denouncing Joseph Frugoli were plastered in CTA 'L' cars Tuesday night, accusing the Chicago police detective being "piss drunk" when he crashed into a car stopped on the Dan Ryan, killing two men.

The rage that prompted the flyer may have begun a year and a half ago, when two acquaintances of the victims of Friday's crash were killed -- also by an allegedly drunk off-duty Chicago cop.

Charges were initially dropped against Officer John Ardelean in the crash that killed Miquel Flores, 22, and Erick Lagunas, 21. Witnesses had said Ardelean didn't appear drunk after the crash in late 2007. But security video surfaced from the Martini Ranch Bar from the night of the crash, showing Ardelean drinking what appear to be several shots. Ardelean now faces new charges of reckless homicide and aggravated DUI.

What happened to Flores and Lagunas is adding to the growing firestorm against Frugoli. Police Supt. Jody Weis insists that alcohol-abusing cops don't get a pass, but friends and relatives of these four victims think otherwise.

"We don't have answers to a lot of the questions that we asked, and that makes me feel that something's wrong or being hidden," said Nancy Flores, Miquel's sister.

Monday night, nearly two dozen people held a silent protest outside Frugoli's Bridgeport home.

The protesters, friends and family of two men killed in a fiery crash allegedly caused by the off-duty detective, said they believed that Frugoli was receiving special treatment because he is Chicago cop.

On Sunday, Cook County Judge Donald Panarese Jr. set a $500,000 bail for Frugoli, who is charged with killing the two men in a drunken-driving accident.  Frugoli was freed on bail Sunday afternoon.

Some of the victims' friends and family members said the bail was too low -- a complaint echoed by protesters Monday.

Protesters said they plan to return to the Frugoli home.

Contact Us