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Chicago Cop Gets Raw Deal

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Cookcountystar_max160_max50

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Posted about 7 years ago

 

Chicago Tribune 15 July 2007

In an Iowa criminal case that smells of a thousand hogs, a young Chicago police officer was sentenced last week to 5 years in prison for defending himself against an attack by two large, drunken men, even though he testified that he repeatedly tried avoiding a fight.

There is a U.S. Department of Justice office in Iowa. What is happening to Chicago police officer Michael Mette bears some serious federal inquiry.

Dubuque District Court Judge Monica Ackley agrees Mette was attacked, he tried to avoid conflict, two large men hounded him down the street, and one of them got into Mette's face and began pushing him, repeatedly, before Mette threw one punch and knocked the guy out.

Still, she's sentencing this young Chicago cop to prison, she wrote, because that's the law in Iowa.

Mette has no clout in Dubuque. But Dubuque is a small town, and the intoxicated man's daddy is a boss in a giant Iowa trucking company.

Early last Thursday morning, I spoke with Mette, a four-year police officer in the Harrison District, and his father, Bob Mette, a veteran detective now running the Cook County state's attorney's sex crimes investigation unit. I asked Mike Mette about prison.

"To tell you the truth, it is not something I think about," he said about the sentence he will begin serving in October if an appeal isn't successful. "I am assuming I am going to get my ass kicked once the inmates find out I am a police officer."

There was no trembling on his face, no Oprah moment, just a straight look, a cop's look: "I know it's not going to be easy. Not thinking about it has kept me sane."

Mette told me his story. But these facts are also in court documents and Judge Ackley's written ruling.

Mette and his brother Marc, a former student at the University of Dubuque, along with a few other friends, were in that town for Marc's birthday on Oct. 8, 2005. They had a few drinks and heard about a house party. When they arrived, two college students at the door said the beer was downstairs, for $5 a head. They went down to check out the party.

"There was absolutely nobody in the basement," Mette told me. "There was a keg in the corner. Nobody there. We took a look, and said, let's get out of here."

That took about a minute. They did not drink a drop. They left.

But the kegger host, Dubuque University golfer Jacob Gothard, became enraged and started calling them "ignorant and offensive names," the judge ruled.

Gothard had been drinking heavily for hours. His blood alcohol level would later be measured as .310, almost four times the legal limit in Illinois. No matter what side of the Mississippi you're on, that's blind drunk.

Gothard shouted that he would call police and brandished a cell phone; then, Gothard told police, he couldn't find the phone -- he assumed someone stole it.

Mette, 30, who is about 6 feet tall and 190 pounds, left with his brother and a couple others, including a 5-foot, 8-inch friend of theirs, Chris Tanner. They walked down the street to Marc Mette's home. Just then, Gothard, who is about 6 feet, 2 inches and his roommate, Nicholas Boyd, a 6-foot, 8-inch, 240-pound basketball player from Downers Grove, chased them.

Gothard ran up to Mette and pushed him, hard, with both fists in the chest, "at least two times, maybe three," Judge Ackley wrote. After repeatedly trying to avoid a fight, Mette felt he had no choice. He threw a punch. Gothard was knocked unconscious to the ground.

Prosecutor Timothy Gallagher said that Gothard was severely injured and had to be airlifted to a hospital. The prosecution's case was that Gothard was near death, suffering from a broken jaw, and nose and bleeding on the brain. He was hurt, certainly, but if he hadn't liquored up and chased strangers and pushed them, he would have been fine.

A few months afterward, Gothard was posting killer golf scores for the college golf team. So he wasn't that injured. He was drunk, yet prosecutors didn't pursue that angle.

"When his cell phone disappeared, that's what put him out into the public [way]," Gallagher said, suggesting it's OK to charge down the street in a drunken rage and push strangers. "His claim was that he was the victim."

Jake's father, Curt Gothard, did not return a phone call. He spent more time in court than his son, who, when he wasn't posting great golf scores, was posting high levels of intoxication. After his dust-up with Mette, Jake Gothard was convicted for driving under the influence.

Gothard will golf. Boyd will dribble a basketball. And Mike Mette will go to prison.

"It's been a two-year nightmare," said Mike's father, Bob. "My stomach has got to have a hole the size of the Grand Canyon."

Iowa is celebrated for corn, for decent people, and for that fantasy baseball park built on a farm at the end of a dirt road, with the baseball immortals stepping out from the cornstalks whispering, if you build it, they will come.

Mette played baseball in college. But what's happening to him isn't about Iowa baseball mythology. It doesn't smell of corn.

It stinks of the pig barn.


Sometimes in this world there is Justice,..and sometimes there is JUST US..
~The Thin Blue Line- Our Blood Runs Blue~
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Cpd_star_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

Ackley went to college with the basketball players father.

Irresponsibility_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

IOWA stands for Idiots Out Walking Around, judges included apparently...
I suppose they're just the least idiotic person to be found in the area. What a travesty, and a miscarriage of justice. What I don't understand is which law the judge is referring to, where you can accost and harass, even assault an other person on the street while blind drunk and, if they retaliate with defensive force, it's THEIR fault ??
I hate it when big-man-in-small-town factors can pervert justice like that...the dad's probably giving it to the judge...

1979_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

I have to wonder, did this Officer get tried before a jury? He was definitely railroaded and he needs to have the judgement dropped and then the case dropped immediately afterwards. It is an obvious case of self defense. Just because he knows how to throw a punch in self defense does not mean he is guilty of assault. The other guy started it and the off-duty officer attempted to flee and was attacked, repeatedly! Where in the hell are all these police organizations and unions? We are not asking for a cover-up or to be treated better than anyone else, just treat us fair. This officer should not have even been charged.

M_ecdbc17245387b1b8aacef6197d23d4b_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

I'm behind Mette......You better have your shit together when you bring a fight to me...I won't be punked!

Cookcountystar_max160_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

My understanding from the news stories that I have read this was a bench trial, and to tell you the truth...I would have picked that same choice thinking that the Judge would understand that this was self-defense. no way I would want a jury in this small town knowing that they may all know the guy I hit- or his "big shot father". Please check the new post that I put up " Officer Needs Assistance Chicago P.D." in that one I list the web link for this officers legal defense fund. A prayer is just as good as a dollar...lets pray the appeals court sees through this and sets aside this conviction and this officer is back on the streets of Chicago protecting our families. Now here is the "not so funny part of this" if the conviction is set aside, Officer Mette may have to sue the city of Chicago to get his job back because as we all know as soon as he was convicted the city had to not only fire him- but he most likely lost his pension because he is now a convicted felon. Lets pray that this "brothers' nightmare is over soon. Stay safe-


Sometimes in this world there is Justice,..and sometimes there is JUST US..
~The Thin Blue Line- Our Blood Runs Blue~
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Irresponsibility_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

Can anyone explain to me how defending one's self with a single punch, without use of weapon, constitutes a felony? It's not just that I think he's getting shanghai'd by the Iowa judicial system, but I have a serious disconnect with the idea that non-lethal unarmed self-defense can somehow be tried as a felony?? This is a direct question; I'm asking because I want to know & understand, not just because I want to vent...

Cookcountystar_max160_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

StrattecTopCop- the answer to your question is I am not 100% sure...not a good answer I know, well this is what I have been able to pick up- the one punch was "a good one" it at caused some type of bleed on the brain( but this guy has fully recovered, and now has a DUI pending) there is something in the laws in Iowa that makes this Judge think that the damaged caused and the fact that the officer should have "ran" away allows her to do this. And in fact if you think about it the office of the states attorney in that county must agree or the officer would never have been charged. I feel in my gut that the biggest part is that this guys oldman is a bigshot in Iowa and he pulled strings to make this happen. I am still working on finding out the correct and full answer to this question because I asked myself the same thing- as is everyone who reads this.


Sometimes in this world there is Justice,..and sometimes there is JUST US..
~The Thin Blue Line- Our Blood Runs Blue~
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Pm_max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 8 years ago

 

When my hubby hear about this story he started shooting off emails. I don't think I have heard him type so fast. It is a shame that a police office, off duty, can't defend himself from a drunk idiot who is bigger then him. From what I read even the Judge had mention that the other guy was drunk and that he was defending himself, but said that he should have walked away or something to that effect. To me he did try and walk away and he was attacked by the other person, how come he wasn't charge with battery? Because he lost the fight? Stay Safe, good luck Chicago.

Photo_user_blank_big

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Rate This | Posted almost 8 years ago

 

Cops always get the shaft. It's a damn shame.

Police_car_max50

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Rate This | Posted almost 8 years ago

 

Apparently the drunk college kids father has money and when money is involved nothing else matters. This officer was railroaded just like the border patrol agents and the deputy sheriff that were all defending them selves. Another liberal judge has used her position and authority to punish a man that was defending himself. When and where does it stop. We have sexual predators walking free and law abiding citizens going to jail. The tables are turning and each of us that wear the badge are the targets. {BEWARE}.

Photo_user_banned_big

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Rate This | Posted almost 7 years ago

 

bump

SUPPORT THE MIKE METTE DEFENSE FUND