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Cop car diatribe played before judge orders prison

Published: Friday, Nov. 15, 2013 4:48 p.m. CDT

WOODSTOCK – A McHenry County Judge on Friday had harsh words for a Hebron man whose racial and homophobic diatribe from the back of a squad car was played in open court.

Judge Sharon Prather called 22-year-old Lucas A. Ruckoldt immature, self-centered, and selfish before she handed him a one-year prison sentence for violating his probation on a 2011 criminal damage to property charge.

Ruckoldt was arrested again on April 24 in Crystal Lake for driving on a suspended license.

On the police video, Ruckoldt can be heard speaking on the phone to a woman. Several times he flew into a fit of rage and directed racial slurs at the officer, who was black, and made disparaging homophobic comments.

"The manner in which he treated that officer was repulsive, it was disgusting," Assistant State's Attorney Robert Zalud said. Zalud asked Ruckoldt be sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Ruckoldt apologized to the court and police officer, saying he was "out of line."

He was represented by his mother, attorney Charmaine Ruckoldt who said the man was maturing and worked nights so he could care for his disabled father. Prather said she had great respect for the attorney and that it probably was "breaking her heart to sit along side of you in this courtroom and listen to your behavior."

"It's time to grow up and be a man," Prather said.

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