DUI Charge Against Ditka's Son May Be Voided
Decision could come at trial, scheduled for Feb. 24.
A DUI charge against a son of former Bears coach Mike Ditka could be voided, according to media sources.
Michael Ditka, 49, a resident of Deerfield was arrested on April 20 for drunken driving, a charge that was upgraded to a felony because of two previous offenses in Lake County.
But according to TribLocal and WGN Radio, Lake County Circuit Court Judge Brian Hughes ruled Thursday that the police stop in the most recent case was not “consensual” and that Ditka’s arrest was not “constitutionally reasonable.”
“There was no reasonable suspicion that the defendant had committed a criminal offense,” Hughes said.
Ditka’s attorney, Robert Ritacca, told TribLocal there was no probable cause to arrest his client, and any evidence gathered after that April arrest cannot be used during his trial, which is set for Feb. 27.
There is no indication if the state’s attorney’s office will continue to pursue the case against Ditka.
Police say they spotted Ditka’s Hummer leaving the Deerfield Village Center around 11:45 p.m. and drive into the rear parking lot of the West Deerfield Township Building. When officers approached the parked car, officers claim Ditka had “red blood shot eyes and slurred words.”
According to a police report, Ditka was arrested after failing a field sobriety test. But Ritacca said Ditka wasn’t actually driving but instead sitting in a parked car.
Efforts to get the charge dismissed began in November.