Bail denied for man charged with attempted murder of officer he allegedly punched and tried to disarm

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A 22-year-old man was held without bail Saturday after being charged with attempted murder as well as battering and trying to disarm an on-duty Chicago police officer, officials said.

Lewis Bennett faces the multiple felony charges following his Christmas Eve encounter with Chicago police in the 2100 block of West Lake Street. Cook County Judge David Navarro held Bennett without bail after an assistant state’s attorney detailed him allegedly struggling over a sergeant’s gun and throwing a chunk of cement at another officer.

“We have a situation here where the officer and you at some point are engaged in a struggle and engaged in a struggle for the officers weapon,” Navarro said before ordering Bennett back in custody. “I do believe that the defendant poses a threat to the safety of the community not only to his mother, but to the community at large.”

About 9:10 a.m. Friday, Bennett’s mother called 911 saying she was scared of him, prosecutor Kathryn Morrissey said. A Chicago police sergeant responded to the scene in uniform and a marked squad car. By then, Bennett had allegedly threatened a shootout if law enforcement arrived.

Bennett walked toward the sergeant and ordered him to leave before punching him in the left ear, Morrissey said. The sergeant fell to the ground and Bennett allegedly got on top of him and said he was going to kill him while grabbing the sergeant’s gun.

“He displayed a callous disregard for the law and the officer’s life by trying to take the officer’s gun while stating he was going to kill the officer,” Morrissey said.

The sergeant said no one was going to shoot Bennett, followed by the 22-year-old yanking out the magazine and backing away while taking out the ammunition, Morrissey said. Other officers then arrived, and Bennett allegedly hurled a chunk of cement at a squad car before he was Tasered and taken into custody.

The sergeant suffered bruises to his left ear, right cheek and right elbow, Morrissey said, adding that Bennett has “serious” mental health issues.

Catherine Stockslager, Bennett’s public defender, disputed the notion that Bennett intended to kill the sergeant. She also said Bennett graduated from John Marshall High School before attending Malcolm X College for a while, worked at Wendy’s before he was laid off and lives with his mother.

“My client removed the clip from the gun and then removed the bullets,” Stockslager said. “He never pointed the firearm at the officer.”

Stockslager also noted Bennett is undergoing mental health treatment and that his mother, while afraid of him, is supporting him through his psychiatric issues.

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