Details Of Grayslake Police Chief's Arrest

The arresting officer and eyewitnesses provided details of the head-on accident reportedly caused by Grayslake Police Chief Matt McCutcheon. He was charged with operating while intoxicated and being armed while intoxicated.

The arrest of Grayslake Police Chief Matt McCutcheon is detailed in a Kenosha County Sheriff’s police report acquired by Patch.

McCutcheon has been charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and being armed while intoxicated. McCutcheon was arrested after a head-on crash in Kenosha County, Wisc., on March 30.

"He was swaying back and forth," Kenosha County Deputy William Soppe wrote in the report. "I could smell a strong odor of intoxicant coming from his breath."

Soppe stated that McCutheon was driving a black Honda eastbound on County Road C, then turned southbound onto Highway 45. McCutcheon reportedly turned too wide and struck a northbound car head-on. No injuries were reported.

Soppe noted that McCutcheon's eyes were "blood shot red and were glossy. The subject's speech was very slow." When Soppe asked McCutcheon if he had consumed any alcohol, he said that he had a few beers with dinner. Soppe asked to see McCutcheon's ID and McCutcheon showed his police badge and indicated that he was an off-duty police officer from Illinois, headed home with his wife from Twin Oaks in Wilmot, the police report states.

Soppe asked if McCutcheon was carrying a gun and McCutcheon showed his Kimber 9MM handgun in his right side waistline. It had one bullet in the chamber and there were six bullets in the magazine. Soppe removed the gun from McCutcheon, according to the report.

Soppe stated he wanted to do field sobriety tests on McCutcheon, but he refused. McCutcheon was then taken into custody for operating while intoxicated, 1st offense, and being armed while intoxicated. 

McCutcheon was taken to Aurora Hospital. Once there, he initially refused to provide a blood sample for evidence, but then relented, the police report states. McCutcheon admitted he had had three vodka martinis and was transported to the Kenosha County Jail, according to the report.

A witness to the accident, Cheryl L., said that she noticed a dark car (believed to be McCutcheon's) driving behind her speeding up and slowing down multiple times. She saw the car crash into a car that was already at the intersection. She called police after checking to see that everyone was OK, the police report states.

Another couple, Margaret and Gerald R., was in their car in the northbound lane of Route 45. They said they saw a dark SUV approach the intersection at C and Route 45, and then it appeared the driver "decided to make a last minute decision to make the turn."

On Wednesday, Grayslake Mayor Rhett Taylor .

. He had served as interim chief since the summer of 2010 when former Chief Larry Herzog retired.

The decision to name McCutcheon chief was unanimous by the Grayslake Village Board.

The Grayslake Village Board has called a special executive session meeting Thursday night to discuss personnel matters, although it did not specify the exact topic. The meeting notice was sent out Tuesday.


CORRECTION: The article has been updated to explain that the car was traveling east on County Road C and turned south onto Highway 45. Patch regrets the error.

Patrick April 04, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Glad to see that there wasn't any special exception made for the officer- so far... Usually this stuff gets swept under the rug- hope he gets the same punishment that anyone else in this situation would an that he resigns or gets let go from the Grayslake department.
Carol Rezmer April 04, 2012 at 11:37 PM
You have your roads reversed. East on C and turning S on 45. Impossible to go the other way.
Brad Faxton April 04, 2012 at 11:45 PM
Sad - good to see that there weren't any professional courtesy-s given. Vodka Martini?.... Hmm. A real martini is made with Gin.
Rick Cappello April 04, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Your right Patrick no special exceptions. How many other people that are charged with DUI, or any other crime such as this, has it pasted all over the news papers for all to see? One more question for you Patrick, how many other people lose their jobs after the 1st DUI? Forget all that this Officer has done in the past for people, and his community. So why right away he should resign, or get let go, is that the punishment that anyone else would get! Someone here is kind of talking out of both sides of their mouth!
Glenn April 05, 2012 at 02:37 AM
Hey Wisconsin guys, be very careful if you have to drive in Grays Lake. The cops are all tuned up and waiting for you. Congratulations to the Kenosha County Police for doing the right thing!
Patrick April 05, 2012 at 12:25 PM
Rick- I would lose my job after just one DUI- as would a majority of the workforce out there. Not to mention police officers spend the larger part of a day behind the wheel of a vehicle, interact with people on a daily basis and have an above average potential to have to make a life or death decision... You are also forgetting that he crashed head-on into oncoming traffic- thank goodness nobody was seriously hurt! Sorry if I offended you- maybe it's just me who expects policemen, firefighters, teachers, the mayor- our town's role models or anyone else that my kids would look up to to act professionally and conduct themselves in an appropriate manner at all times. It like the old sayin goes- practice what you preach! Couldn't you see this guy coming back to the force and taking it easy on DUI offenders? DUI deaths are the most easily preventable murders out there and a majority ofI those who get a DUI are repeat offenders or have been doin it doing it for a long time...
Kelly Chase April 05, 2012 at 01:17 PM
We are disappointed by the chiefs actions. A police officer has high standards to live up to. I know he has been on the force for a long time however he had "big shoes" to fill when Larry left and I think they are now tarnished. I have several friends in the Grayslake pd, all whom are great officers and whom I respect greatly. Don't judge them all by one mans actions.
Marcia Watts Sagendorph (Editor) April 05, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Carol, you are correct. I updated the article. Thanks!
Maria April 05, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Let's put aside the fact that he is the Chief of Police and as the chief he needs to set an example to not only his staff but community. Driving drunk or under the influence is not exactly a good example. But we also need to focus on the fact that he was driving under the influence while carrying a loaded weapon. I've known a few cops in my life (some family some friends) and they NEVER drank while they had their guns on them. It was just something you didn't do. I do believe in 2nd chances and I don't think people should lose their jobs over a 1st offence. But I do believe he should be removed as chief and demoted to a patrol officer or maybe behind a desk somewhere and not behind the wheel. I also agree with Kelly, I don't think this one situation should make anyone think any less of the Grayslake Police Department. I don't know any of them but I respect them as professionals and don't think this one incident should tarnish their reputation.
Jon Sheridan April 05, 2012 at 02:57 PM
He should lose his job for the 1st offense because of what his position is. He is to uphold the law and not break it, slightly different when you are in a spotlight such as that.
Jon Sheridan April 05, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Not only was he driving drunk but he struck another vehicle, luckily nobody was hurt.
Dilbert Z April 05, 2012 at 04:22 PM
This incident will not be considered a 1st offence by Illinois. Because of how our DUI laws are written, McCutcheon will face this DUI as a 2nd offence here. That's a much tougher punishment than if he were a Wisconsin resident subject to 1st offence penalties. He should not have been driving a car. He will probably lose his rank, and most likely his job. Everyone makes mistakes, but this one was completely avoidable on his part. A real shame.
Amit Dave April 05, 2012 at 04:24 PM
How about jail? $120,000 Salary and not following the law. No mercy here. Enough said about IL corruptions. Justice needs to be served. Amen.
Amit Dave April 05, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Amen. Can't agree more.
Amit Dave April 05, 2012 at 04:27 PM
I work for the corporate that has strict law. If you drive company vehicle and you are intoxicated and you are caught goodbye.. He should be expelled. One has to set a standard being the Police Chief. I aplaud WI cops. No mercy here.
Michael Corsaw April 05, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Don't be an idiot. They understand that since an accident took place the deputy's only choice was to handle it in a professional manner,
catalina10 April 05, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Village Meeting tonight. I suspect he will be asked to resign.
yehtmai April 19, 2012 at 01:55 AM
FINALLY someone hits on the most important fact: martinis are made with gin!


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