Zion man on parole spits on deputy's face during arrest, brags about having disease

Ben Smart | Lake County Sheriff 

A Zion man is facing multiple charges after spitting on a Lake County deputy's face while being arrested Saturday morning. 

The Lake County Sheriff's Office says a Beach Park woman was driving home around 12:45 a.m. when she noticed a car following her.

When the woman pulled into her driveway the car following her did as well. She told her husband, who came outside. 

The victim’s husband confronted the driver of the car, asking why he followed his wife. The couple realized they did not know the man who followed her home.  

The man was later identified as Ben Smart, 55, of the 4200 block of Barberry Lane, Zion. Smart refused to leave when asked by the homeowners, so they called 911. 

The Sheriff's Office says Smart had obvious signs of alcohol impairment and he had been driving with a revoked driver’s license.  

Sheriff's deputies attempted to take Smart into custody, but he resisted arrest and actively fought with the deputies.  

The deputies were able to place Smart into custody and began walking him toward their squad cars. The Sheriff's Office says Smart began spitting at the deputies and ended up spitting in one of their faces. Smart was bleeding from his lip at the time. 

Smart then bragged he had a transmittable disease.

When they got to the Lake County Jail, Smart would not get out of the squad car. Correctional officers used pepper spray to get him out.

Smart is now facing charges for Aggravated Battery to a Peace Officer, two counts of Aggravated DUI, Resisting a Correctional Officer, Disorderly Conduct, and Driving While License Revoked.


He is currently on parole with the Illinois Department of Corrections. Police say the department of corrections will likely issue a no bond parole violation warrant, based on this incident.

Smart is being held in the Lake County Jail pending an initial court hearing Saturday morning.

"This is just one example of the many dangers our deputies and correctional officers face on a daily basis," Sheriff John D. Idleburg said. "Even knowing the risks and dangers, our staff come to work every day and serve our community professionally.  I am very hopeful our deputy in this incident will be okay."

The deputy who was spit on went to an area hospital for treatment and will be on a long-term precautionary treatment plan, due to the possibility Smart has a transmittable disease.