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Lawyer: Ditka Case Should be Dismissed

Michael Ditka’s attorney files a second motion to suppress testimony of arresting officer.

A motion that could lead to the dismissal of charges against of Deerfield was filed today in Lake County Criminal Court in Waukegan during a status hearing in the case. 

Ditka, son of former Chicago Bears Coach Mike Ditka, was while sitting in a car in a Deerfield parking lot, according to his lawyer, Robert Ritacca. Ritacca said Ditka was sitting in the vehicle with another passenger.

The papers filed today Ritacca filed to keep the arresting officer from testifying about apprehending Ditka because Ditka alleged the policeman had no legal right to question him in the first place. 

“I want to make sure the judge knows everything that is going on in this case,” Ritacca said. “I want to make sure all the t’s are crossed and the i’s dotted.” 

In particular, Ritacca claims in the expanded motion there were no keys in the car’s ignition when the officer approached Ditka. Judge Brian Hughes will set a time at a status hearing Dec. 8 for Ritacca and Assistant Lake County State’s Attorney Robert Money to question witnesses before a ruling. 

“If there were no keys in the ignition it was an improper stop,” Ritacca said. “If the stop was improper there is no case.” 

Money, who had not had an opportunity to read the motion before Ritacca handed it to Hughes, had no comment. 

At earlier hearings on Ritacca’s original motion, the officer and other witnesses were questioned Oct. 27 and Nov. 17. The judge will rule when all testimony is complete. 

Ditka’s brother, , was arrested on similar charges Sept. 24 in Deerfield. He will next appear in court at 9 a.m. Dec. 14 for a pretrial. That case is a misdemeanor while Michael Ditka faces felony charges according to Money.

Gil Sharon December 02, 2011 at 12:50 PM
...and he planned to stay in that parking lot until he was sober, right? What a shame it would be if some shyster lawyer gets him off on a technicality. Will it take him killing someone the next time he's driving drunk to keep his kind off the roads?
Daniel Krudop December 02, 2011 at 01:24 PM
I guess this means that a person driving under the influence can pull over and take the keys out of the ignition prior to the officer getting to the car and there is no basis for arresting that driver. Who knew how easy it could be?
Ucantfix Stupid December 05, 2011 at 10:41 PM
Whatever COPS have to do to keep DRUNK DRIVERS off the road I'm all for it!!!
mike December 08, 2011 at 09:15 PM
If he was not driving and did not have the keys in the ignition then he was clearly not operating a motor vehicle. Btw Daniel that makes no sense, he was not pulled over by the cop, he had already been there with the keys out of the ignition. The cop was probably trying to make a name for himself, and now he won't comment, that's the funny thing. He must know he he was wrong in the first place.
Gil Sharon December 08, 2011 at 09:24 PM
mike: it's no different than being parked facing the wrong way on a one-way street. The assumption is that you had to have driven the wrong way to get there. Mr. Ditka was in a commercial parking area, nowhere near his residence, under the influence. The assumption is that he didn't just magically appear there; he either drove there or would have driven home. The officer is correct.

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