Man gets four years for assaulting Joliet police officer

JOLIET (STMW) - A Lockport man was sentenced Wednesday to four years in prison for assaulting a Joliet police officer who was trying to arrest him in 2012.

James Pacheco, 38, was found guilty of aggravated assault, aggravated fleeing/attempting to elude a police officer and drunken driving after a jury trial in September, according to a statement from the Will County state’s attorney’s office. He also pleaded guilty to criminal damage to property.

Officers Adam Stapleton and Eric Zettergren were responding to reports of someone breaking the window of a Chevrolet pickup on July 30, 2012 in the 300 block of Union Street in Joliet when they spotted Pacheco’s black Nissan, according to the statement. Pacheco, who was intoxicated, had just broken the window of his former landlord’s truck.

Pacheco took off, but was forced to stop by a train crossing in the 900 block of Washington Street, according to the statement. He then turned his Nissan around and accelerated toward Stapleton, who had gotten out of the squad car.

Stapleton fired seven shots into the Nissan’s windshield as he moved out of the way to avoid getting hit, according to the statement. Pacheco was struck in the arm and face, but continued to drive until he hit a light pole near State and Division in Lockport.

Pacheco continued to struggle with officers after the crash, and an officer used a stun gun to subdue him, according to the statement. His blood-alcohol level was .184 after the crash.

A Will County judge sentenced Pacheco to four years in prison Wednesday.

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