Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Deputy sheriff officer de-deputized after alleged taxi threat

Published on May 7, 2012 by   ·   No Comments Waxaa Daalacatay :2379

Fifty-year-old Cook County Deputy Sheriff Officer Timothy Masterson has been de-deputized after allegations that he unlawfully pointed a gun at cab driver Dindo Basilgo this January.

The incident occurred north of Broadway and Lawrence after Basilgo picked Masterson up from Carol’s pub, on the southeast corner of Clark and Leland. Basilgo claims he tried to get help from nearby police officers to get Masterson to a hospital since he was bleeding on his left eyebrow and that’s when the Sheriff Officer allegedly pulled his gun.

Basilgo alleged that Masterson leaned forward and said, “Keep driving or I will blow your head off.”

Officer Masterson was arrested after the incident but was released. Basilgo signed a police report that same day. Both Basilgo and the officer appeared in court branch 29-2 on Belmont/Western on March 19. The case was rescheduled upon request by Masterson’s attorney for June 26th at the 29-2 court branch. Other witnesses who may be present on that day are the two police officers, Juan Caunian and George Kalfas, who were reportedly at the scene at the time of the incident.

“I am glad we have more time to discover evidence,” said Basilgo. “I am ready to go to trial.”

Jonathan Myslinski from Cook County’s Office of Professional Review is investigating the incident. Myslinski was present at the March 19th trial to take notes. Basilgo was also interviewed by Myslinski about the alleged incident.

“They were asking me a lot of questions about what happened,” said Basilgo. “The interview continued for about 40 minutes. Apparently, this is not the first time Masterson got in trouble.”

A Freedom of Information Act request reveals a case from 2003 against Cook County Sheriff’s Officer Timothy Masterson.

Bradley Wallace filed a complaint against Cook County Sheriff Timothy Masterson, alleging a “violation of Plaintiff’s Fourth Amendment rights in causing Plaintiff’s arrest without probable cause.” The incident occurred on November 16, 2003, when Masterson allegedly “struck the Plaintiff and used an unreasonable amount of force onto the body of the Plaintiff.” The lawsuit claimed Masterson made false representations in his police report indicating that Wallace had battered him. According to the report, the charges “were designed to cause criminal litigation to be lodged against the Plaintiff without probable cause and/or any legal cause.”

Wallace alleged he was arrested as a result of the representations made by Masterson. In the final outcome of the suit, it states that “Cook County itself has no authority to train the employees involved or to set the policies under which they operate.” The Court granted Masterson the motion to dismiss the malicious prosecution but the motion to dismiss him from a claim against Cook County was denied.

According to FOIA Officer Liz Abraham of the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, Masterson is not currently on a paid status with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office and he is not authorized to carry a firearm at this time.

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