Family Files Lawsuit in Marie's Pizza Shooting

By: Shannon Smith Email
By: Shannon Smith Email

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The family of the late Michael Sago Jr. have filed a civil rights lawsuit against officer Frank Pobjecky, Winnebago County Sheriff Richard Meyers, and Winnebago County.

The lawsuit comes from the incident last October where Lamar Coates, Desmond Bellmon, Brandon Sago and his cousin Michael Sago, allegedly tried to rob the pizzeria. Deputy Pobjecky, who was off duty, fired at the suspects, wounding 3 and killing Sago.

Sago's family accuses Pobjecky of violating the teens civil rights, by using excessive force, failing to provide medical care, and for not getting paramedics in time. Bill Foutris is the family's attorney who claims Pobjecky could’ve saved Sago's life.

"Here he was acting in the capacity of a police officer as far as I understand it. Once you use force on an individual and you're a police officer and someone presents with a serious medical need, which a 16 year old bleeding to death is a serious medical need, you have certain obligations to provide that person with medical care," said Foutris.

The family has not disclosed how much money they're seeking. I reached out to the sheriff but he told me he could not comment on the pending lawsuit. The county has 30 days to respond.

The integrity task force ruled Pobjecky was justified in using deadly force. Sago's attorney says he does not believe that will affect his case in court.

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