This morning, the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation honors Chicago Police Sergeant Michael Bazarek who arrested a criminal after he saw an unprovoked attack on a 91 year old man in Chinatown.
On September 18th, Sergeant Michael Bazarek had attended a meeting at Police Headquarters and then traveled into Chinatown looking for a cup of coffee. The sergeant observed a man walking down Wentworth, waving wildly and scaring people off the sidewalk. The Sergeant followed his instinct and continued to follow and observed the man. The man was talking and shouting to himself. Within minutes the man approached an elderly man and punched him square in the face causing the man to fall backward onto the ground and strike his head on the pavement.
Sergeant Bazarek, along with other nearby citizens including an on-duty Cook County Sheriff, went to aid the elderly man. An ambulance was called and the Sergeant returned to his vehicle and followed the offender. The sergeant was armed but without handcuffs or a police radio. He called 911 from his cellphone. Bazarek tailed the offender, giving a description and direction of flight to the dispatcher. The offender walked south to 26th Street then east towards LaSalle Street. As responding police units neared, Sgt Bazarek pulled in front of the suspect, blocking his way and made the arrest.
The elderly victim was taken to the hospital and remained in intensive care for many days. He faces a long road to recovery.
“He was acting out. He was not hurting anyone, but he was in a very threatening manner ... talking at the sky, talking at the sidewalk and frightening people,” says Sgt Michael Bazarek in describing the offender just before the attack on the 91 year old citizen in Chinatown.
The suspect was charged with numerous counts of aggravated battery including Aggravated Battery on a Senior Citizen. Further investigation revealed the suspect served time in prison for attempted murder and Aggravated Battery on a Senior Citizen. This case highlights another case of a career criminal taken off the street by a Chicago Police Officer.
Sgt Bazarek comes from a police family. His father Gary Bazarek retired as a Captain after 35 years, his uncle served 33 years and his brother Bill worked as a civilian attorney in the law department of the CPD for 27 years. Collectively, they have given nearly 125 years of service to the city of Chicago. In February 2019, Sgt Bazarek faces mandatory retirement but still loves this job and goes after the bad guys just like he did when he came out of the academy over 28 years ago.
He is a great example of police work as a passion and calling, and we are proud to honor him as our November Officer of the Month presented by Galls.