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Man Beaten By Cops Is Re-Arrested

March 20, 1998

CHICAGO (AP) _ The man whose arrest and alleged beating last year led to the firing of two Chicago policemen has been arrested again, raising his lawyer’s suspicion that it’s payback.

Jeremiah Mearday, 19, was charged Thursday with three counts of aggravated battery, and one count of possession of a controlled substance. Police say three officers were injured slightly while trying to take Mearday into custody.

The arrest came after two officers and a lieutenant investigating two shootings on the Chicago’s West Side observed a man acting suspiciously, police spokesman Pat Camden said. When the man, later identified as Mearday, saw police, he turned and walked the other way.

The officers later confronted Mearday in front of his home, and he hit one of them in the face, Camden said. The officers then subdued him, and found six packets of crack in his shoe, Camden said.

The officers were later treated for minor injuries.

Mearday’s arrest prompted charges it was a case of revenge and that the drugs were planted.

On March 12, officers James Comito and Matthew Thiel were fired by the Chicago Police Board for beating Mearday on Sept. 25. The board concluded the two officers bludgeoned Mearday with their flashlights and lied about it.

``They wanted to exact revenge against Mr. Mearday and they’ve done it in classical style,″ said Mearday’s attorney, James Epstein.

But authorities said the officers did not know that the man they were trying to handcuff Thursday was Mearday until he identified himself.

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