ROCKFORD - The off-duty Winnebago County Sheriff's deputy once hailed a hero in the Marie's Pizza shooting last year is now facing a lawsuit. The family of the teenager killed by the Dep. Frank Pobjecky, says deadly force was not justified. Of the four shot that night by the officer, the teenager Michael Sago Jr., was the only one killed and now his family wants justice and compensation.
"He was shot in the back three times when he was running away and was unarmed," said Basileios "Bill" Foutris, the Sago family lawyer. "In our society, you know this isn't the Old West, you don't just go out and seek retribution."
Foutris says both being
unarmed and running away from Pobjecky made it clear that Sago was not a threat
to the deputy. He also says Sago didn't
die immediately, but rather left to die on the sidewalk that he was shot on,
right across from
"He's trained as a police officer," said Foutris.
"He's trained to look for certain things and react a certain way. So unless he's improperly trained, then he should know."
Foutris mentions there is still security camera footage that the public hasn't seen yet. The Sheriff's department has been withholding that and once it comes out, he says, that will prove his client's case.
"That's why this is in court, and now it's in court and people are going to have to testify under oath and we're going to have the video and we're going to see who exactly knew what, and who did what and under what circumstances."
Winnebago County Sheriff Dick Meyers is also named in the lawsuit as well as the county itself. All questions were forwarded to State's Attorney Joe Bruscato, but we were unable to receive a comment.
No word on when the first court appearance is for this case.