Retired Cop Arrested for Threatening Investigators in Slain Officer Case

Joseph Battaglia allegedly told officials at the Lake County coroner's office that he would harm investigators in the Joe Gliniewicz case unless they declared the slain officer's death a suicide

A retired Chicago police officer has been arrested after allegedly making threats against all officials involved in the investigation of the fatal shooting of Fox Lake, Illinois, officer Lt. Joe Gliniewicz.

Joseph A. Battaglia, 54, called the Lake County coroner's office at 2 p.m. on Friday from a blocked phone number and threatened to harm all members of the Task Force and all investigators involved in the death investigation unless they declared Gliniewicz's death a suicide, according to the Lake County sheriff's office.

Battaglia told officials on the phone that he was a retired police officer, and upon further investigation, sheriff's detectives found he is a former Chicago cop.

The retired officer also called other police agencies and several media outlets over the last several days, the sheriff's office said.

Lake County sheriff's detectives arrested Battaglia at his home in the 5600 block of West 103rd Street in Oak Lawn on Saturday. He was subsequently charged with two felony counts of disorderly conduct.

Battaglia is being held in the Lake County Jail on $100,000 bond. He is scheduled to next appear in court on Sept. 15.

"We will not tolerate any behavior which disrupts our investigative efforts," Lake County Undersheriff Raymond Rose said. "Any intentional criminal acts to distract or impair our investigation will be actively investigated and turned over to the Lake County State's Attorney's Office for prosecution." 

Sheriff's officials will continue their investigation into Battaglia's phone calls.

Last week, the coroner revealed that Gliniewicz died from a single gunshot and said he isn't ruling out suicide or an accident. Leaders of a police task force said that disclosure could jeopardize their case. They said they are looking for three suspects in connection with the shooting. 

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