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Man charged in beating of Chicago officers

edited 14 Oct 2016 in Thin Blue Line

The man who's accused of severely beating two Chicago police officers Wednesday had appeared in court earlier that same day on strikingly similar charges involving an attack on a suburban cop earlier this year, the Tribune has learned.

The latest alleged attack by Parta Huff drew added attention after police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said a female officer who was severely injured told him she didn't use her gun to defend herself for fear of public backlash.

Huff, 28, of Maywood, was ordered held without bail Friday after Cook County prosecutors detailed how he left two officers with concussions and other injuries. The second officer had twice used a Taser on Huff, prosecutors said.

Court records show that Huff was out on bail Wednesday after appearing in court for an alleged attack in April on a Forest Park officer who had stopped him for running a stop sign. Huff allegedly drove off, crashed into a car and tried to flee on foot. When the officer caught him, Huff pushed him to the ground, injuring the officer's shoulder and right knee, said Forest Park Police Chief Tom Aftanas.

In court Friday for the latest alleged attack, prosecutors said Huff repeatedly slammed the female officer's head onto concrete pavement until she lost consciousness and pulled chunks of hair from her head. The officer, a 17-year veteran, also suffered bone chips to the shoulder and wrist, a neck injury, and bruises and abrasions, prosecutors said.

The second officer also suffered a concussion, a broken right thumb, a torn quadriceps muscle, cuts and bruises, according to prosecutors.

Huff's face appeared swollen and his right eye was black and nearly swollen shut. His arrest records indicate he is a reputed Gangster Disciples gang member, but his attorney said he graduated from cosmetology school and worked full time as a janitor and overnight at a chocolate factory.

"This conduct cannot be tolerated," Judge Donald Panarese Jr. said in ordering no bail for Huff on charges of attempted murder of a police officer and multiple counts of aggravated battery to a police officer. Authorities said he tested positive for PCP.

Prosecutors gave this account of what happened:

The two uniformed officers were flagged down and alerted to the crash of a car into the front doors of Roosevelt Liquors at Cicero Avenue and Roosevelt Road. Huff, the lone occupant of the car, was walking from the scene but ignored the officers' commands to stop.

As the female officer tried to place a second cuff on Huff's wrist, he pulled away and punched the male officer in the face. That officer then deployed his Taser, striking Huff, but he pulled the prongs from his body and continued to struggle with the female officer, knocking her to the street. Huff then fell on her, injuring her shoulder.

Huff repeatedly struck the female officer in the face before grabbing her by the hair and slamming her head onto the concrete until she lost consciousness.

The male officer then deployed his Taser a second time, but Huff continued to pull chunks of hair from the female officer's head and strike her head on the pavement.

Additional officers arrived and tried to pull Huff by his legs, but he continued to resist. Another officer deployed a Taser for the third time.

At a public ceremony honoring heroic officers and firefighters Thursday, Johnson spoke of what the female officer had told him at the hospital.

"She looked at me and said she thought she was gonna die, and she knew that she should shoot this guy, but she chose not to because she didn't want her family or the department to go through the scrutiny the next day on national news," he said.

A day earlier, the Chicago City Council approved the first part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's plan to revamp a police accountability system that critics say has long been ineffective. For months, the U.S. Justice Department has been investigating the Police Department after video showed an officer shoot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times as he walked away with a knife.

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