A police commander in suburban Dixmoor is facing felony charges after he allegedly assaulted a 66-year-old woman in an altercation at a police station, but his father is providing a very different account of what took place during the confrontation.
The commander, identified as 31-year-old Ronald Burge Jr., faces up to five years in prison in the incident, which took place on Oct. 5, 2019, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Video of the incident was captured on surveillance cameras at the station, according to a proffer provided by the State’s Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors say that during the incident, Burge Jr. allegedly slammed 66-year-old Carla Bourgouis' face into a wall multiple times after dragging her back inside the police station, but his father disputes the States Attorney's version of events.
"The State's Attorney's Office was not truthful in what happened," Ron Burge said.
Bourgouis stood by the version of events laid out by the proffer during an interview with NBC 5.
"He took me inside the village hall and he banged my head several times and that time I did lose my glasses," she said.
According to prosecutors, the incident started in the lobby of the Dixmoor police station. After Bourgouis' grandson was detained by Dixmoor police, a group of people had a conversation with Burge, during which the boy's father began taking photographs.
Burge allegedly demanded the phone of the boy’s father, then took him into custody when he refused to turn it over.
After the boy's father was taken into custody, Bourgouis then allegedly followed Burge into another part of the station, taking photographs of the arrest. According to the proffer, Burge then demanded that she turn over her phone, and Bourgouis refused. Bourgouis then quickly fled the station and went into a nearby parking lot, according to prosecutors.
Burge then allegedly chased Bourgouis out of the police station, grabbing her and dragging her back inside, according to prosecutors.
While inside, Burge allegedly put his arm around the victim’s neck, handed his gun to another officer, then allegedly slammed her face into a wall at least three times before bringing her to another counter inside of the station.
Prosecutors say that Bourgouis was not resisting during the altercation, but Burge's disputes that assertion.
"While he was trying to take her into custody, she grabbed him in his private parts and refused to let go," Chief Burge said.
Bourgouis was then placed in a holding area and was later charged with a misdemeanor offense of resisting a peace officer. She was not given the opportunity to post bond at the police station, and was transferred the next day to the Leighton Criminal Courthouse, where she was released on an I-Bond.
Bourgouis sought medical treatment for a scrape to her mouth and pain in her neck and elbow. Charges against her were later dropped.
An arrest warrant was issued for Burge on Tuesday, and he was taken into custody on Wednesday and charged with felony counts of aggravated battery and official misconduct.
Burge was ordered held on a $20,000 bond. The commander was also ordered to surrender his FOID card and all weapons. He posted the bond, according to the chief, and will either be placed on desk duty or administrative leave pending the outcome of the case.
Bourgouis said that she is relieved that Burge is facing charges, and hopes that no one will have to go through what she allegedly had to go through.
"I've been living in this village for 30 years, and I don't think anyone deserves this type of abuse from a police officer," she said.
Note: The original version of this story identified the victim as Heather Webber. The error has since been corrected.