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Darien Couple Charged with Assault During Hit-and-Run Investigation

A Downers Grove police officer used pepper spray at a home in unincorporated Darien to combat what he called "bizarre" behavior, reports said.

A husband and wife were charged with aggravated assault after a confrontation with a police officer at their home in unincorporated Darien, police said.

The officer went to Theresa and David Miller’s home to investigate their daughter Mercedes Miller’s possible involvement with a hit-and-run accident in Ultra Food’s parking lot, 1212 75th St., Downers Grove, police said. An officer said he saw a van in the driveway with damage consistent with witness and victim reports of the accident.

David Miller, 52, of the 00W200 block of 71st Street in unincorporated Darien, answered the door and slammed it shut when the officer told him he was there to talk about the incident, police said.

The officer said he saw David Miller, who appeared “highly agitated,” looking at him through the window. David Miller opened the front door and began yelling at the officer, police said. Theresa Miller, also 52, appeared and began talking to the officer as well, police said.

The officer said the couple was “acting in a bizarre fashion,” so he readied his pepper spray and told them they were interfering with his investigation.

David Miller moved quickly toward the van and the officer sprayed him in the face with the pepper spray, police said. As the officer grabbed his arm, Theresa Miller rushed toward the officer, the report said. He sprayed her as well, police said. 

The couple went into the house shortly before backup from the Downers Grove and Darien police departments and the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office arrived. Darien-Woodridge Fire Protection District personnel gave the couple medical attention for the pepper spray. 

In addition to the aggravated assault charges, officers charged David and Theresa Miller with obstructing justice. Mercedes Miller, 19, was cited with leaving the scene of an accident.

Tom Koz August 10, 2012 at 05:29 AM
NOT undermining the police department. I support and highly respect the job they do. It must be tough dealing with the low-lifes of society, and some good people who may be at their worst for a moment or two. I am not an attorney, but I don't think "acting in a bizzare fashion" justifys pepper spraying, or can be seen as interfering with an investigation. They do not / did not have to answer any questions. Did the officer have a warrant?? Again, all due respect to Law Enforcement, but it appears the officer could have / should have handled it differently. It's a tough job !
Tom Koz August 10, 2012 at 05:29 AM
Keep us updated Lauren.
Law student August 11, 2012 at 03:45 AM
I've known the family for years, Theres no way two 52 year olds are a threat. I know for a fact the officer over reacted, and I heard witnesses say the police officer was way out of control. Tremendous potential for a law suit against the officer.
Tom Koz August 11, 2012 at 05:04 AM
It is questionable how / why the couple wasn't immediately restrained. If the situation warranted pepper spraying, it warranted restraint. How did they both end up in the house before backup arrived? Again, all due respect to Law Enforcement. Right is right and wrong is wrong. Let Justice prevail.
Tim Allen August 11, 2012 at 05:07 AM
Another case of a peace officer creating a disturbance among the peaceful. Police officers have been widely publicized for their unnecessary use of force and this is a prime example of such a case. When are police officers going to realize using force against innocent people is unjust. In this situation police officer probably knows he did wrong but built a case just so he can cover himself. I think the couple can definitely build a case against this " peace officer" for using unnecessary force. People need to start shedding some light on cops who abuse their "powers".

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