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stratton add

by Paul Bass | Jul 2, 2014 3:47 pm

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{media_2}The state based its decision to arrest a city alder for alleged domestic violence-related assault on a review on surveillance video.

The cops Wednesday issued an arrest warrant for the alder, Michael Stratton, on charges of third-degree assault and second-degree breach of peace. The charges stem from a 1:41 a.m. June 13 police visit to the Kelly House on Temple Street, where Stratton was temporarily living with a 20-year-old woman.

By the accounts of both the woman and Stratton, the woman started assaulting Stratton because he had announced he was breaking off the relationship. Based on those accounts, officers arrested the woman, not Stratton, in the building’s ground-floor lobby.

Police Chief Dean Esserman subsequently ordered an internal investigation into the conduct of the officers when it was discovered that some of them had failed to file a report about visiting the couple’s upstairs apartment and seeing a small amount of marijuana visible. Stratton had allegedly informed some of the officers that he is an alder. (He has since resigned his position, citing “family issues,” but vowed to return to politics next year, perhaps to challenge Mayor Toni Harp.)

In the course of the internal affairs probe into the officers’ conduct, investigators noticed the existence of surveillance cameras at Kelly House. They pulled the video from that evening. They allegedly discovered footage of Stratton assaulting the woman. Based on that information, the state’s attorney’s office sought a warrant, which a judge signed. The warrant had not been served as of late Wednesday; police were seeking to make contact with Stratton, who is believe dto be out of town, through a third party.

Police union President Louis Cavaliere Jr. defended the conduct of the officers who responded to the original June 13 incident. He said they had no reason to review surveillance footage.

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