East Peoria Times-Courier - East Peoria, IL
  • Creve Coeur police officer arrested in connection with beating of Pekin students

  • An off duty Creve Coeur police officer was arrested this morning for the aggravated battery of two Pekin Community High School students on school property.
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  • An off duty Creve Coeur police officer was arrested this morning for the aggravated battery of two Pekin Community High School students on school property.
    Chad Hjortshoj, 41, of 119 Charlotte St., Pekin, was arrested after an investigation by Pekin police that included victim statements and video footage of the altercation between Hjortshoj and two 18-year-old male seniors in the bus loading area of the campus, according to Pekin Police Public Information Officer Don Jolly. Hjortshoj was issued a notice to appear in court.
    According to Jolly, Pekin police were called to the bus loading area at 2:43 p.m. Monday where they found the two injured victims. One victim had a scuff on his right forearm and a red and swollen elbow from being thrown to the ground. The other had scratches on his back and red marks around his neck, allegedly from being choked by Hjortshoj.
    Both victims told police that they were in their vehicle waiting for one of the students’ girlfriends when Hjortshoj approached the car from Smoker’s Paradise, where he was parked. The victims said Hjortshoj was cussing at them and threatening them for allegedly harassing Hjortshoj’s girlfriend’s son, Jolly said.
    Hjortshoj ordered the students from the car. One exited the vehicle and Hjortshoj allegedly started shoving him, at times pushing him to the ground. The second student exited the car and tried to help his friend, but Hjortshoj allegedly started pushing him to the ground as well and kicked him. Hjortshoj weighs 295 pounds and is 6-foot-5-inches tall, said Jolly.
    The first student to exit the vehicle was slammed to the ground where Hjortshoj allegedly placed his knee on the student’s chest and started choking him with his hands. The victim told police that he almost passed out while he was being choked, said Jolly.
    The students were taken inside the school where they were tended to by school staff. Their parents took the students for medical care, said Pekin Community High School Superintendent Paula Davis.
    Davis said this is the first time to her knowledge that someone has come onto the campus and assaulted students. She said the administration will meet to discuss what more can be done to secure the perimeter of the school. At this time there are security cameras on every building to monitor what is going on. Buses are also equipped with video cameras.
    The district also has staff positioned outside the school when classes are not yet in session or have let out for the day.
    “I don’t know what else we could have done,” Davis said. She said staff members responded as soon as they knew what was happening.
    Davis said there was one complaint filed by Hjortshoj's girlfriend's son, which was investigated and determined to be unfounded.
    Page 2 of 2 - Creve Coeur Police Chief Pete Fisher was not available for comment by press time.
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