SPRING GROVE – A 23-year-veteran of the Lake County Sheriff's Office has been placed on paid administrative leave after being charged with misdemeanor domestic battery.
Deputy Leroy Pugesek, 50, was arrested Monday at his home in an unincorporated area near Spring Grove by the McHenry County Sheriff's Office. An internal investigation has been ordered by Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran, according to a news release from the department.
In a request for a order of protection filed Monday, Pugesek's girlfriend said they had gotten into a fight Friday at his house. She said he grabbed her around her chest and stomach and lifted her from a chair before throwing her down a flight of stairs.
The girlfriend said she heard a very loud cracking sound. When she told Pugesek that she thought her neck was hurt, he allegedly said, "Well maybe you'll be better on the porch."
She said he then grabbed her right arm and dragged her face, chest and upper body across the cement before locking her out. The girlfriend said she yelled for him to help her, but he would not call an ambulance, so she drove herself to a hospital.
As a result of the incident, the girlfriend said she had a large bump on her forehead, as well as scrapes and bruising on her face and chest area.
"I fear for my safety because he is a Lake County deputy, [carries] a gun, and feels he is superior when he is in his uniform," the girlfriend wrote. "I am afraid he will retaliate against me for seeking help to keep him from doing this to someone else."
Pugesek has been with the Lake County Sheriff's Office since 1987 and currently is assigned to the Highway Patrol Division.
In 2005, Pugesek was recognized with a distinguished service award for his response to a plane crash in Fox Lake. The first deputy on the scene, he received second-degree burns over more than 20 percent of his body, mostly on his arms, chest, neck and face.
Pugesek was released Tuesday morning after posting $2,000 bond. His next court date is scheduled for Nov. 8.
• Northwest Herald reporter Jillian Duchnowski contributed to this report.