White Cop Charged After Kneeling On 14-Year-Old Boy's Back While Off Duty

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A White Chicago police sergeant now faces charges after pinning a 14-year-old boy to the ground and pressing his knee into the teenager's back while off-duty, according to legal documents.

On Thursday (August 18), Park Ridge Police announced that Sgt. Michael Vitellaro had been charged with aggravated battery and official misconduct in connection to the off-duty incident, per the Associated Press.

Vitellaro, 49, was "relieved of his police powers" on Wednesday (August 17) and surrendered to law enforcement Thursday, according to reports.

The charges stem from an incident that began when the 14-year-old boy was out with his friends on July 1 in Park Ridge, a suburban Chicago neighborhood.

Vitellaro, off-duty and ununiformed, allegedly confronted the boy as the youth was moving a bike that was blocking his path.

Video of the encounter shows Vitellaro grabbing the boy, pinning his arms behind his back on the sidewalk, and putting his knee on the teen's back as he falsely accused the 14-year-old of stealing his son's bike.

“He’s taking my son’s bike,” the man is heard saying in the video.

The boy's friends yelled back at him repeatedly, “No he’s not,” as they pulled the 14-year-old from the sergeant's grasp and off the ground, per the video.

According to the charging document, Vitellaro placed the boy in “an arm bar and forcibly pushed him towards the ground into a prone position” before kneeling on his back, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Antonio Romanucci, an attorney for the teen's family, told the outlet last month that the incident “is a clear-cut case of racial profiling.”

“The off-duty officer is white and the boy was the only person of color in a group of teenagers,” Romanucci said.

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