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Ex-cop accused of bullying North Chicago student fights back

 Casey Rincon

Casey Rincon

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Updated: February 6, 2013 6:07AM

A former North Chicago police officer who was accused last year of roughing up an elementary student plans to fight his Dec. 26 firing.

A federal civil suit filed last year alleges that a uniformed Casimir “Casey” Rincon on March 22, 2012 walked into South Elementary School, 1812 Morrow Ave., and summoned an 11-year-old student into a hallway and that he handcuffed the boy, slammed him into a locker and threatened him for allegedly bullying his son.

But no charges were filed against the officer, despite a complaint filed by the mother with the department and an investigation that failed to corroborate either the student or the officer’s version of what happened, according to Chuck Smith, North Chicago city attorney.

Smith declined to give details on a “personnel matter,” but agreed with an assertion by North Chicago Police Chief James Jackson that Rincon was not fired as a result of the South School allegation. Jackson did not return a call seeking comment.

“There’s more than one allegation against the officer that led to this discharge,” Smith said.

Rincon is contesting his firing. His case is being handled by an attorney for the Fraternal Order of Police, with a hearing expected later this month, followed by a decision in two to three months.

“We’re going to have a battle over this,” Smith said, adding the civil suit will go forward.

The attorney for the student’s family, Stephen Potts, could not be reached for comment. The suit, which also names North Chicago District 187 as a defendant, seeks an unspecified amount in damages and legal costs for counts including “willful and wanton” conduct, intentional infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment.

The mother of the boy claims her son suffered physical and psychological injuries and now fears for his life.

The North Chicago Police Department survived a tumultuous year after the death Nov. 13, 2011 of Darrin Hanna a week after he was taken into custody by six officers, one who was later fired and another disciplined over the incident.

One other officer was fired and at least two other officers were disciplined last year, one for publicly making a derogatory comment about North Chicago residents, and another for beating a man placed under arrest, an incident caught on the department’s own security video.

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