When Will County Board member Steve Wilhelmi's son was first arrested for allegedly whipping a man with his belt, he only faced charges of misdemeanor battery and mob action. Then the mob action charge went away, and now he's charged with nothing.
A special prosecutor called in to try Wilhelmi's 21-year-old son, Alex Wilhelmi of 1108 Taylor St., Joliet, dropped the case Thursday morning.
But David Neal of the Special Prosecution Unit of the State’s Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor's office is still going after the two men arrested along with Alex Wilhelmi on July 1. Daniel Duffy, 23, of 503 Wilcox St. faces a charge of battery and Manuel Borrego, 24, of 319 Hunter Ave. is up for both battery and drunken driving. Duffy and Borrego do not have fathers on the county board.
The three men were jailed after an alleged road rage incident that culminated near the corner of Kenilworth and Dellmar avenues.
Borrego was driving and Duffy and Alex Wilhelmi were riding in a Pontiac when Borrego cut off a Saturn carrying four young men, police said. Words were exchanged and someone in Borrego's car threw a 44-ounce cup of soda through the open window of the Saturn.
Borrego then chased the Saturn through town before pulling in front of it and braking, police said. The Saturn rear-ended the Pontiac but managed to escape by speeding off in reverse.
One of the passengers in the Saturn had gotten out to confront his pursuers and was left behind by his buddies, police said. Alex Wilhelmi, Borrego and Duffy then allegedly attacked him.
Alex Wilhelmi pulled off his belt and whipped the man's back while the other two punched and kicked him, police said. Officers arrived after Borrego and Duffy were allegedly scrapping with a neighbor who tried to intercede.
Steve Wilhelmi did not attend the hearing to see Neal drop the charge against his son. Steve Wilhelmi was appointed to the County Board in 2003 and has held on to his seat ever since. He was the top vote-getter in the November election for Joliet's District 10.
Neal gave no explanation in court when he asked Judge Robert Livas to dismiss the case against Alex Wilhelmi.
Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow requested a special prosecutor replace one from his own office due to Steve Wilhelmi's position as a County Board member. The case was the third recently resolved by a special prosecutor called in by Glasgow.
Matthew Lechwar, the 30-year-old son of former Will County Chief Judge Rodney Lechwar, pleaded guilty to the possession of heroin with intent to deliver earlier this month. Even though that was Matthew Lechwar's fifth drug case since 2000—and second heroin case in Will County—he may do as few as four months in prison.
Special prosecutor Charles Colburn asked Judge Edward Burmila to recommend Matthew Lechwar as a candidate for the Department of Corrections' Impact Incarceration program. Burmila consented to make the recommendation.
The program would allow Matthew Lechwar to effectively dodge the eight-year prison sentence handed down by Burmila.
In August, special prosecutor Neal moved to dismiss a domestic battery case against state Rep. Natalie Manley.
Manley, 50, was in the midst of campaigning for the newly created 98th House District when she allegedly attacked her 21-year-old daughter, Bridgette Manley.
Bridgette Manley reportedly told the police she had lost her cell phone and was unable to let her mother know she would be home late. When she did make it back about 2 a.m., ,” police said.
Officers observed visible injuries on Bridgette Manley, including bruises, police said.
Neal explained he wanted the case dismissed after speaking with both Bridgette Manley and the attorney for Natalie Manley.