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South Beloit officer won’t face charges in fatal crash

Published: Jan. 5, 2021 at 8:22 PM CST
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SOUTH BELOIT, Ill. (WIFR) - A South Beloit police officer who hit a man with his squad car in August will not face criminal charges, and for some, the results of the investigation are hard to swallow.

“Immediate response was grief. I mean it just opens the wound all over again,” Friend of Michael Guzman, Manuel Salgado said.

August 23 is a day that will always stick out for those who knew Michael Guzman.

“Michael was a great friend he was a family man,” Salgado said.

Police say Guzman was walking near Blackhawk Boulevard and Whittemore Drive in South Beloit when a South Beloit squad car hit him.

“I don’t have a lot of information in terms of the investigation done by the Sheriff’s department,” Guzman Family Attorney Tom Fabiano said.

The investigation ended with no charges filed.

“After a thorough review of the case we do not believe that criminal charges are appropriate,” Winnebago County State’s Attorney J. Hanley said in a statement.

Fabiano says he’s not surprised with the outcome, but ready for the civil suit.

“We’re prepared to advance our, our lawsuit in support of the family, and we’re going to work very diligently on that,” Fabiano said.

The wrongful death lawsuit claims the South Beloit police officer was distracted while driving, and drove off the roadway when he struck Guzman.

Those claims have not been confirmed by law enforcement.

“I don’t want to get into too much detail what that witnesses told me I can just tell you what we said in our lawsuit is 100% corroborated by the eyewitness,” Fabiano said.

The next hearing for the civil suit is March 24 until then friends will wait for results.

“I just hope for justice but I’m not banking on it,” Salgado said.

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