Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Slumtimes: Frugoli's Driving Record

An off-duty Chicago Police detective charged with killing two men in a drunken-driving crash has been involved in other serious wrecks, including one not far from the scene of Friday’s fatal collision on the Dan Ryan Expy. and another that injured two police officers.

Just last week, Joseph Frugoli was ordered to pay $7,100 to Joseph Cairo after a jury trial involving a 2005 accident.

Joseph Frugoli, the off-duty Chicago Police detective charged with killing two men in a Friday drunken-driving crash, has been involved in previous serious accidents.
Frugoli, now 41, was driving a new BMW sedan that rear-ended Cairo’s Jeep Cherokee on the in-bound Dan Ryan near 31st. Cairo, 65, struck a median and suffered neck and shoulder injuries, while Frugoli went to the hospital for a head injury, records show.

Cairo’s lawyer, Benjamin Kelly of the Vrdolyak Law Group, said Frugoli gave two stories about the accident: he told the State Police at the accident scene that he did not know what happened. But in a legal deposition, Frugoli said Cairo slammed on his brakes, causing the crash. Kelly denied that Cairo caused the collision.

Frugoli also testified that at the time of that 2:50 a.m. accident, he was headed to a bar on Halsted on the Near West Side. He denied he had been drinking. He said he was off-duty and scheduled to work that afternoon.

“The guys from work had called me, told me they were out,” he said in a deposition.

Cairo owns a bar near Midway Airport and was on his way to clean it up, Kelly said. Both men live in the Bridgeport neighborhood near the site of their collision.

“Their cars were demolished,” Kelly said. “By the grace of God, my client wasn’t killed.”

Frugoli’s other accidents include a collision with a Chicago Police car on the South Side.

At 5 a.m. on Jan. 27 of last year, Frugoli was driving a BMW sedan near the intersection of 37th and Wallace in Bridgeport when he allegedly ran a stop sign and struck the police car, injuring two officers, records show.

The officers who responded to the crash were investigated for failing to tell their supervisors in a timely manner that an off-duty officer was involved in the crash, but they were cleared of wrongdoing, sources said. Frugoli was cited in the accident, but the responding officers said they did not have evidence that Frugoli was intoxicated.
The slumtimes is making a big deal out of Frugoli's other accidents which don't inclued any previous DUI's.


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