Domestic battery accusations surrounding Welch resurface
State Rep. Chris Welch (D-IL) was arrested in 2002 by the Village of Hillside Police for alleged domestic battery of his girlfriend at the time, according to documents obtained by West Cook News.
A police report dated Jan. 12, 2002, by lead responding officer James Peterson said the reporting victim, a white female, told him that, “during a verbal altercation,” Welch “grabbed her hair with both hands while in the kitchen and proceeded to slam her head backwards several times on the countertop.”
The female declined medical attention, according to the report, but she did say she wanted to “sign complaints for domestic battery.”
Welch, who represents parts of River Forest, Forest Park, Maywood, Broadview, Bellwood, Hillside, Westchester, La Grange Park and Berkeley, was first elected in 2012.
“Immediately after this, (Welch) exited the home,” Peterson said. “I asked the victim if that was in fact the offender and was told yes. I immediately advised (Welch) to turn around and that he was being placed under arrest.”
According to the report, the incident started as a “verbal argument.” The victim “related that she is no longer in a relationship with the home owner, Emanuel C. Welch … and was here to retrieve some of her belongings.”
“During this verbal argument, (the victim) admitted telling Welch he was a ‘loser,’” Peterson said. “At that point, Welch became enraged and grabbed her hair with both hands and slammed her head backwards on the countertop multiple times. Afterwards, he let her hair go and backed away.
“(The victim) attempted to leave the residence through the front door and then the rear door but was blocked by Welch with his body. Not knowing what else to do, she attempted to use the phone to call police. Welch then prevented her from doing that also.
“Now, being extremely scared because of his actions, (the victim) ran again to the back door and began screaming for help. Running around the home (Welch) then was able to grab a phone and run out the front door to call police.”
After speaking with Welch’s stepmother, the victim decided not to pursue a complaint against him, and he was subsequently released from custody, according to the report.
Welch denied the incident to Hillside Police, saying that the victim has been “crying over their breakup and shortly after called the police.”
He claimed he neither grabbed her by the hair nor slammed her head on the kitchen countertop.
Peterson interviewed the victim four days later. He said she showed him a four-inch bruise on her right arm.
“She further reported that the bruise was the result of being grabbed by Mr. Welch,” Peterson said. “She said that she debated reporting the bruise to police and that when I called her, she decided to report it to me. At this time, she again decided not to sign a complaint.”
Reporter Bill Dwyer wrote on the Forest Park Forums message board that he filed a Freedom of Information request for the report with the Village of Hillside, but they improperly denied it. He had to appeal the Illinois Attorney General to obtain a copy, but did not receive it until after Welch had won the 2012 Democratic primary.
Dwyer’s editors at Forest Leaves declined to pursue the story.
“Pioneer editors wanted to move on after the primary election, which, while frustrating for me, was the proper thing to do as a newspaper,” Dwyer said. “The election was over.”
Hillside Village Manager Joseph Tamburino was an early supporter of Welch’s political career.
Transcript of police report:
“On January 12, 2002, at 2:09 p.m. Officers Abner, Duffek, Sgt. Kosevich and I responded to (address redacted) for a call of a domestic problem.
Upon my arrival, I observed a white female in the driveway on the cell phone, and crying. She identified herself as (name redacted) and I then asked her what happened. (Several word redaction) related that during a verbal altercation (name redacted) grabbed her hair with both hands while in the kitchen and proceeded to slam her head backwards several times on the counter top.
I asked her if she wanted medical attention and she declined. I then asked her if she wanted to sign complaints for domestic battery, which she did.
Immediately after this a male black subject exited the home. I asked the victim if that was in fact the offender, and was told yes. I immediately advised the male black subject to turn around and that he was being placed under arrest.
After being taken into custody, Officers Abner and Duffek arrived and at that time Officer Abner transported the arrestee to the police department.
The subject was advised of his Miranda rights verbally by Officer Duffek and Abner. I then went into the home with the victim and tried to gain further information.
Sgt. Kosevich arrived and victim (name redacted) went on to say that it all started as a verbal argument. (Name redacted) related that she is no longer in a relationship with the home owner Emanuel C. Welch, (black male (redacted)) and was here to retrieve some of her belongings in his presence.
During this verbal argument (name redacted) admitted telling Welch he was a “loser.” At that point Welch became enraged and grabbed her hair with both hands and slammed her head backwards on the counter top numerous times. Afterwards, he let her hair go and backed away.
(Name redacted) tried to stay calm and then attempted to leave the residence through the front door and then the rear door but was blocked by Welch with his body. Not knowing what else to do, she attempted to use the phone to call police. Welch then prevented her from doing that also.
Now being extremely scared because of his actions, she ran again to the back door and began screaming for help. Running around the home (name redacted) then was able to grab a phone and run out the front door to call police.
(Name redacted) was unsure how she obtained the phone while running around the home but only remembers getting outside and having the phone in her hand.
(Name redacted) related that Welch did not grab her again after slamming her head on the counter. He only blocked her with his body so she could not exit.
I explained to (name redacted) once again what would be done now that Welch was in custody and she again reiterated that she wanted Welch charged with both counts of domestic battery and unlawful restraint. Sgt. Kosevich then transported (name redacted) to the police department. While talking in the lobby (name redacted) was still quite upset and unsure of what she wanted to do and asked if there was anyone she could talk to about her feelings. I suggested out social worker Mr. Rich Arons and she agreed.
We had Mr. Arons paged and (name redacted) continued to talk to the stepmother of the offender who she had a good relationship with. (Name redacted) advised Sgt. Kosevich and I that she (felt) comfortable with the stepmother and would like to be given a while to talk to her alone.
During this time, the stepmother requested to speak to Welch in the presence of Sgt. Kosevich. (Name redacted) then indicated to the stepmother that she (had) decided not to pursue complaints and just want(ed) to leave and get her belongings from (name redacted).
A declination of prosecution was signed by (name redacted) and she went on her way back to the residence to retrieve her vehicle. Welch was released without charges after refusing to sign the department release form.
See both forms.
Supplemental report -Jan. 12
Additional information to Officer Pederson’s original report.
Before leaving the station I gave the alleged victim (name redacted) a copy of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act. It should be noted that there were no visible signs of injury to (name redacted).
I also interviewed the alleged offender at the station on the day of the incident. I asked subject Welch as to what happened. Welch related that (name redacted) had come over to his house to retrieve some personal property as they were breaking up.
Welch began putting some of her belongings out of his house and near her car when (name redacted) began pulling at Welch’s arm. (name redacted) began crying over their breakup and shortly after called the police. Welch denied ever grabbing (name redacted) by the hair and striking her head.
Supplemental report -Jan. 16
On the evening of Jan. 16, 2002 I met with Ms. (name redacted) at the station. I had requested that Ms. (name redacted) (come) to the station so that I (could) speak with her in reference to the incident involving Mr. Welch and her on Saturday Jan. 12, 2002.
I informed her that I was conducting an internal investigation of the incident on a complaint from (name redacted).
She said that before we begin she wanted to add a supplement to the domestic report she had filed. She said that after the domestic with Mr. Welch she went home and that on that evening she noticed a bruise on her right arm just above the elbow.
She then rolled up her sleeve for me and I saw a purple and yellow bruise about 4-inches in circumference on her right arm above the elbow. She further reported that the bruise was the result of being grabbed by Mr. Welch during the domestic at his house on Jan. 12, 2002. She said that she had debated reporting the bruise to the police and that when I called her she decided to report it to me.
At this time she again decided not to sign a complaint.
- End of report