Monee mayor charged with battery against ump at youth baseball game: officials – Chicago Tribune
The mayor of south suburban Monee has been charged by Will County authorities with two counts of felony aggravated battery for allegedly punching an umpire in the face at a youth baseball game in June, a blow the ump said broke his jaw.
An arrest warrant was issued Friday for Jay Farquhar, 50, according to Charles Pelkie of the Will County state’s attorney’s office.
Pelkie said Friday afternoon that the mayor was arranging to turn himself in.
A text message sent to Farquhar for comment was not immediately returned.
Farquhar has said that he acted in self-defense when he struck an umpire while Farquhar was coaching a baseball game between 7- and 8-year-olds on June 4. Umpire Tim Nelson, 56, of Richton Park, said the altercation required surgery to repair his jaw in two places.
The criminal complaint against Farquhar alleges the mayor “caused great bodily harm” to Nelson and that he “knowingly made physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature” at a public setting.
The altercation occurred in a game between a team from Monee and a visiting team from Park Forest. As part of his coaching duties with the Monee team, Farquhar was standing near Nelson, catching and retrieving pitched balls the batters missed.
Nelson admits that during the game he knowingly called a foul tip when a girl swung and missed on what would have been strike three in order to give her an extra pitch to try to hit.
Farquhar turned away and called the umpire a drunk, Nelson said. In a statement to police, Farquhar called it a sarcastic joke. Nelson said he reached for Farquhar to confront him when Farquhar struck Nelson. Farquhar told police he put up his right arm in self-defense and his hand made contact with Nelson’s cheek.
The Monee Baseball and Softball organization suspended Farquhar indefinitely, according to group officials.
A $100,000 bond was attached to Farquhar’s warrant, Pelkie said.
“(Farquhar) would have to post ten percent or $10,000 to secure his release,” he said.
The felonies each carry sentences of 2 to 5 years in prison with the possibility of probation, Pelkie said.
Farquhar is represented by attorney Ragan Freitag, who is also a Will County Board member.
Monee is a village of about 5,000 about 35 miles south of Chicago along Interstate 57.
Farquhar won a four-person race for mayor in 2013, unseating Mayor Daniel Tovo Sr. Farquhar’s four-year term ends next year.
Under Illinois law, a local elected official convicted of a felony is ineligible to continue holding office.
The Tribune reported in July that Farquhar has been accused — though never charged or convicted — of aggressive behavior in the past. Farquhar was accused of punching a neighbor’s dog in the head multiple times, assaulting a police officer, and of being physically aggressive in two separate disputes with the village’s former mayor, according to witness statements in police reports.
According to Will County court records, orders of protection were granted against Farquhar by his ex-wife in 2001 and 2002. The petition for the order in 2001 accuses him of threatening behavior and alleges he “threw (her) on the bed and sat on top of (her),” according to court documents. Farquhar said to the Tribune the orders of protection are “easily obtained without the burden of any real proof.”
Erin Gallagher is a freelance reporter.
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