Fox Lake Shooting: Ex-Cop Allegedly Threatens Investigators, Wants Officer’s Death Declared Suicide

Fox Lake shooting victim Lieutenant Charles Gliniewicz was reportedly killed on September 1 after checking in to base saying he was going to investigate “suspicious activity” involving three men. Since then, investigators have worked day and night to piece together the events of that morning in order to find the men responsible, and a new twist in the case has officials puzzled.

Last week, retired Chicago officer Joseph Battaglia allegedly blocked his phone number and called the Fox Lake coroner’s office with threats of harm to those involved in the investigation if they did not rule Lt. Gliniewicz’s death a suicide.

“The subject said he was a ‘retired police officer’ and threatened to harm all of the Task Force members, as well as all of the other investigators involved in the death investigation of Fox Lake Police Lieutenant Gliniewicz. These threats included Coroner Rudd and Coroner’s Office employees, unless all the involved personnel declare Gliniewicz’ death a suicide,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

Battaglia was arrested on two counts of disorderly conduct; meanwhile, the investigation has also been hampered by the release of possibly sensitive information to the media by the coroner’s office, with Major Crime Task Force Cmdr. George Filenko saying that coroner Dr. Rudd had acted unprofessionally.

“Dr. Rudd, releasing information which is sensitive to this investigation, puts the entire case at risk. All of the progress made since this tragic incident is potentially in jeopardy. This is an active investigation, and it’s inappropriate for anyone other than the investigating body to release information to the media prior to providing a final written report of the findings, or even having a conversation with the task force,” Filenko told the Northwest Herald.

It’s unclear at this time whether Rudd will face action for his comments to the media, but for now he says his findings — while leaning toward homicide — are still undetermined pending the outcome of the investigation.

Officials said recently that the crime scene has yielded significant evidence, including the fact that more than one shot was fired, although Lt. Gliniewicz was only shot once. Fingerprint information and DNA testing is pending.

Battaglia is reportedly still being held on $100,000 bond for his threats to Rudd and Filenko and has been denied public defense due to his former position with the police department. He was reportedly not involved in any way with the investigation.

Photo courtesy CBS Chicago