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Former Moline police captain to stand trial in February
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Former Moline police captain to stand trial in February

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The trial for a retired Moline police captain who is charged with four gun-related felonies is to begin in February — nearly 2 1/2 years after his arrest.

Jerome Patrick, 58, is accused of shooting at two people from his car after a September 2019 bar fight in Moline. He is charged with two counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm and two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm, all of which are felonies.

He has pleaded not guilty.

Patrick's case has included 14 delays attributed to the defense.

When the case again was delayed last week in Rock Island County Circuit Court, Judge Frank Fuhr advised it would be the "final continuance in the case." Court records also indicate, "THIS WILL BE THE FINAL CONTINUANCE" before the Feb. 14, 2022, trial date.

Also during the hearing, State's Attorney Dora Villarreal said the state was "revoking" all previous offers related to a negotiated plea agreement with Patrick.

He retired from the Moline Police Department in 2016.

While Moline police first responded to the reported shooting, the case was quickly turned over to Illinois State Police.

The state police were called at 6 p.m. Sept. 12, 2019, to investigate a gunfire complaint in the 2500 block of the Avenue of the Cities. Investigators identified Patrick as the suspect, and he was arrested the next day in Davenport.

The state police say Patrick fired a gun from inside his silver 1997 Mercedes-Benz convertible in the direction of a man and woman, whom he is accused of following home from a tavern. No injuries were reported.

In March of 2020, Villarreal said the case was handled appropriately when the Moline police turned the investigation over to the state police. The state’s attorney’s office kept the prosecution of the case rather than bringing in a special prosecutor, she said, because her office was not involved in any criminal cases with Patrick as an investigator.

She said her office was not treating Patrick any differently than other defendants. The state’s attorney’s office reviewed the evidence and filed the charges deemed appropriate.

“We will proceed as we would with any other case,” she said.

One assistant state's attorney who has appeared for the state in the case is married to a former police department colleague of Patrick's, but Villarreal said the relationship does not present a conflict.

"Mr. Patrick’s former co-workers were not a part of the shooting incident he is currently charged with," she wrote in an email Friday. "Our office also hasn’t had pending cases with Mr. Patrick as an officer for quite some time.

"His case gets prosecuted just like everyone else’s; no special treatment."

Bond was set at $250,000, and Patrick paid the $25,000 bail on Sept. 14, 2019. About three weeks later, on Oct. 7, $12,000 of the bail money was refunded to Patrick's defense attorney, court records show.

Patrick has been in trouble before.

He's been the subject of at least two investigations that resulted from allegations of violent conduct toward one former and another estranged wife, but he never was charged. Five years after he was accused of assaulting his first wife and another law-enforcement officer, he was promoted to captain.

A bartender at a tavern on 15th Street in Moline told police he knows Patrick and said the retired captain arrived at the bar around sundown on Sept. 11, driving his silver convertible. The sun set shortly after 7 p.m. that night.

Other witnesses estimate Patrick left the bar, Les & Molly's, around midnight, which places him there for about five hours.

Two witnesses told police they were at Les & Molly's together and saw Patrick fighting with two other men.

They said the former captain repeatedly offered to buy a woman a drink. When the woman's family members arrived, one of them asked Patrick to leave them alone. Patrick responded by punching the man, according to one account.
 

It was not clear from the court-filed documents why Patrick would have pursued the two witnesses, rather than the men with whom he had allegedly been fighting.

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