AURORA, Ill. — The Aurora Police Department in Illinois released dashcam video on Wednesday they said shows an officer being attacked and strangled during a foot pursuit that occurred after a traffic stop last month.
According to Aurora police, the officer was struck in the head and body several times during the June 21 attack before he was strangled by a female passenger to the point where the officer lost the “ability to breathe,” FOX 32 Chicago reported.
Three suspects were indicted by a grand jury last week and charged with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery, and aggravated assault, police said. They were identified as Jennifer Taylor, 24, of Chicago; Sheba Taylor, 26, of Aurora; and Paul Sherrod, 28, of Aurora.
From left: Jennifer Taylor, Paul Sherrod, Sheba Taylor (Aurora Police Department)
The prosecutor explained the charges that were filed.
“Because of the strangulation and because of the research that we know about how quickly it is for somebody to lose their life as a result of somebody preventing them from being able to breathe, we believe that the proper charge was attempted first-degree murder,” said Kane County State’s Attorney Jamie Mosser, according to FOX 32 Chicago.
WARNING: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE
The attack occurred after the unnamed officer stopped the vehicle for blowing through a stop sign. Dashcam video shows the moment the officer approached the car.
The occupants of the vehicle were non-complaint, and failed to follow directives. The officer was seen directing a female passenger to remain in the vehicle. When she failed to do so, the officer informed her that she was under arrest for obstructing, FOX reported.
While the officer was dealing with the uncooperative female, the male driver exited the vehicle, aggressively approached the officer and reportedly said, “I’m gonna knock you out, bro.”
After the officer informed the male driver that he was also under arrest, the driver bolted and a foot pursuit ensued. The female passengers apparently trailed as the officer chased the male driver. Soon after, they all attacked the officer.
During the entanglement, the suspects reportedly punched him and kicked him in the body and head. Around this time, the officer said he heard a male’s voice and was “struck repeatedly in the head from several angles,” police said.
One of the females placed her forearm around the officer’s neck and strangled him to the point where he nearly lost consciousness, police said. A short time later, the video shows additional officers arriving at the scene and the suspects were subdued and arrested.
“Our Aurora police officers are entrusted with keeping our community safe from harm. I am at a loss of words when an officer is physically attacked from something that would have been a simple traffic ticket,” Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman said, Law Officer reported in June. “We will not allow our city to become a place where criminals feel emboldened, and lawlessness ensues.”
Ziman recently said the officer was “fighting for his life,” according to FOX 32.
According to the video, one of the suspects appeared to sit on the officer’s head, while police said another applied significant force to the officer’s windpipe.
All three suspects are out on bond, FOX 32 reported. Their arraignment is scheduled for Sept. 24.
The officer was treated at a hospital that night and released, Daily Herald reported. He’s been a police officer for about a year.