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Letter to the Editor: McCutcheon's Victims

The mother whose daughter and finance were in the car hit by former Grayslake Police Chief Matt McCutcheon shares their side of the story.

It has been reported that Police Chief Matt McCutcheon of Grayslake was involved in an accident and arrested for driving while intoxicated and armed with a loaded weapon while intoxicated. While it is "claimed" that he struck a 'silver Dodge' head-on, I would like to make it clear that it is not a 'claim' but a fact.

I am the Mother of that 'silver Dodge' and would like the public to know that the 'silver Dodge' held two people, my daughter and her fiance. It is also a fact that the Police Chief admitted in the police report that he had drank three martini's and a few beers and that he hade been driving the vehicle that struck Kate and Todd.  

Though Mayor Rhett Taylor of Grayslake prefers to use the word "allegations" and speaks to the Chief's "dedication to safety and security," I as the victims Mother dispute that. My daughter and her Fiance were not safe or secure when Chief McCutcheon made the choice to drink and drive.   

I can speak to my daughter's "exemplary performance" as well. Kate is a graduate of and went on to graduate from Augustana College. She works full time in Grayslake at a nationally recognized daycare as an Assistant Director and teacher. She is responsible for caring for the children of many Grayslake residents. My daughter is a Honor Society member at the where she is obtaining her masters degree. Kate recently purchased a vehicle from a well known Grayslake dealership as well as shops in the village on a regular basis. Though Kate is not a Grayslake resident she certainly is a  part of the community.    

On March 30, 2012, I recieved the phone call that every parent dreads. My daughter and future son-in-law were the victims of a head-on collision caused by what appeared to be a drunk driver. The 30 minutes it took us to travel to the scene may be the worst minutes we experienced as parents. Finding Kate and Todd shaken and scared but alive, we were not only thankful but blessed. I only hope Chief McCutcheon never recieves such a call.    

I do not understand the words "claim," "allegations" and "if" used  by people refering to the Chief's negligent behavior that night when he clearly admits to drinking and driving. Why did the Chief refuse all intoxication testing? Why was the Chief's weapon removed from his possesion by the Kenosh County Police if he was acting as a responsible officer? Why is the Chief on "paid leave" while his victims struggle with the financial burden of the loss of a vehicle, insurance responsibilities, filing claims and dealing with all the problems Chief McCutcheon caused on top of working at their jobs so they can have the money to replace the vehicle they just lost? I hardly think "Serve and Protect" applys here.    

While some people rally for the Chief and speak to all his dedication and service, who is standing up for his victims? Should this man not be held to a higher standard given his position? Chief McCutcheon made a choice to drink and drive and needs to be held accountable for his actions. Stepping down from his position as a Chief is a start, however in my opinion he needs to be removed from the force altogether. This is not a person I want protecting me or my family.    

The purpose of this statement is to make the public aware that these two innocent victims are human beings not just a "silver Dodge." Kate and Todd are children, grandchildren, siblings and friends. Due to Chief McCutcheon's choices that night they are now also his victims.                                                                  

Mother of the "Silver Dodge"

Katie Makey April 13, 2012 at 11:39 AM
I couldn't agree more with your comments. I think it is unjust to allow McCutcheon to continue his employment with the police department and YES, he should be held to a higher standard given his choice of career. I am so happy that Kate and Todd did not suffer devastating injuries, but sorry that they must suffer financially. Hopefully justice will be served and your family will receive the restitution you all deserve.
Bob Miaples April 13, 2012 at 02:20 PM
regardless he is entitled to due process. There are 2 sides to every story and his fate should not be determined in the media.
kathleen April 13, 2012 at 02:30 PM
The chief has resigned, and we have another chief in his stead. The village has to use words like allegations, etc, because to date, the chief has not plead guilty in court or been convicted.
Peggy April 13, 2012 at 02:47 PM
I totally agree with Silver Dodge. It's very obvious that the former Police Chief does not respect his position and should be removed from any position on the Police Force. Think about it...a drunk driver... a loaded gun...an automobile. Is this who you want protecting our village and our children ? I don't !! thank you
Bob Miaples April 13, 2012 at 03:34 PM
From what I have read this was a minor accident and your children were not injured. Insurance will repair the vehicles. Yes it was stupid of him but it was a mistake. Your children will move on with their lives and this will destroy his with no second chances given. I hope this is a suitable resolution for you.
Tami April 13, 2012 at 08:12 PM
This was not a minor accident. The car was totaled by the insurance company due to heavy damage.The insurance only covers blue book value not what is stilled owed on a vehicle he no longer has. Not only is he responsible for the difference but also needs to purchase another vehicle He is hardly being put back to the position he was in before this happened. My children will move on and well they should. They did not make a stupid mistake.Mr.McCutcheon chose to destroy his life if that be the case. His victims had no choice.
Laura April 13, 2012 at 08:36 PM
The man consumed alcoholic beverages and got behind the wheel of his vehicle. He destroyed his own career with that decision. True, the severity of this accident was not as bad as it could have been, but his mistake was the same mistake whether someone was physically injured or not. As a mother, I understand where this woman is coming from.
Denise April 13, 2012 at 08:49 PM
If the police chief shouldn't have his "fate determined in the media", you also shouldn't believe everything you read about the extent of injury. Yes, insurance will repair a vehicle but when a vehicle that is still being paid for is totaled, the owners suffer quite a loss. A loss that two young people planning their wedding shouldn't have to deal with. He made a choice to drive drunk, how many chances should he get and what side of the story are we missing? He admitted to drinking and getting behind the wheel of his car. It's very lucky that the only loss in this accident is a car as Kate and Todd could've been seriously hurt or killed. Drunk driving accidents aren't mistakes, someone willingly got behind the wheel of their car while they were drunk and should not be allowed to slide or have it chalked up to a mistake. He deserves to be held to a higher standard because of the public position that he was in and deserves everything that comes his way because of this accident.
Bob Miaples April 14, 2012 at 02:25 AM
totaled by an insurance company only means the value of the repair is greater than the value of the car. It has nothing to do with the severity of the accident. Your son is not responsible for any of it, Mr. McCutcheon's insurance company is. If his insurance company does not give a satisfactory monetary amount he has legal options available to him. I understand he made the choice but do we really need all the drama? The man made a mistake and is now going to pay for it by losing his job and being publicly humiliated. What more should be done? Prison?
Bob Miaples April 14, 2012 at 02:35 AM
So what was the extent of the injury? Again, totaled from an insurance company means nothing about the severity of the accident. Personally I believe in due process. I believe people posting on the internet about something they were not personally involved in means little. (Yes mom, that means you too since you were not personally on the scene of the accident). I'm not trying to be disrespectful but facts change when you only hear one side of a story. I have seen many things in real life that were twisted in the media.
LMJ April 14, 2012 at 02:38 AM
I am so glad that Kate and Todd are alright. My grandmother and I were also involved in an accident where a drunk driver hit us. It is a very humbling thing to realize that things "could have" been much worse. It is very clear, that an impaired decision, changed at least two families that night. How very sad. Hopefully, this incident will make people think when they get behind a wheel after any drinking. Or making stupid puns about going and drinking an adult beverage after they comment on the Patch.
Allison 'Roberts' Buckardt April 14, 2012 at 04:17 AM
I am shakinright now because I am so furious with the comments being posted by 'Bob'. The severity of the injuries that you keep refering to is irrelevent. The chief of a police force, who has sworn to serve an protect, broke the law in a very serious was. He should be held to a higher standard and he made a choice. The definition of totaled that you keep giving is also irrelevent. The fact is: they will b reimbursed by his insurance company for only a fraction of what they stil owe. So now they have to continue paying off that car and also buy a new one. I do, however, agree nwith you on one point: everyone should have their chance to tell their side of the story. But my problem is, we are not dealing with a he said/she said; we are dealing with facts. He drank, and he got behind the wheel. He broke the law. He cause harm to someone else (once again the extent of that injury is irrelevent). End of story.
Alexander Roberts April 15, 2012 at 06:17 AM
The fact you are on here defending this behavior in any way whatsoever is disgusting Bob, and is also a sad statement about what society has become.
John April 15, 2012 at 10:55 AM
He's not defending the actions, if you spend the time to read, instead of using emotion, over rationality. He's defending the use of the term 'alleged' and other such terms. Journalists are required to use these terms when someone is charged with a crime, but not convicted. Oddly enough, journalists usually cant wait to forget that term whenever a police officer is involved. Unless you were there, the only fact is that a crash occured, everything else will be settled in court. Either way, he made his mistake, it will cost him everything. Yes police are held to a higher standard, so he'll lose his job. If it wasnt a police officer, they would pay a fine, wouldnt have their picture in the paper and still keep their livelihood, and support their family. And less we also forget, his name is Matt, he messed up and will pay the consequences, now the lynching can end.
RH01 June 26, 2012 at 04:18 PM
I've known McCutcheon for a long time. He's been a drinker since the day I met him - I mean a heavy drinker. He's always drank and drive - he's just never been caught. He's arrogant, mean, and a jerk. I hope he gets the book thrown at him and never gets work in law enforcement again.
allen bishop February 25, 2013 at 08:04 PM
I have known mccutcheon my whole life. When he told me he wanted to become a cop i tried to beat some sence into him. Being raised by an enforcement officer and working with them my whole life i know it is a thankless job that slowly dsstroys you. I feel terrible for everyone and hope everyone can learn forgivness.

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