After nearly 20 surgeries, Rylan Wilder, who is still in high school, is desperately trying to get on with his life.
“Music is Rylan’s life. He’s a guitarist, singer in a band. It put his career in jeopardy,” said Tim Cavanaugh, Wilder’s lawyer.
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Wilder was just 14 when he became what his lawyer called collateral damage in a suburban bank robbery that turned the police chase in Old Irving Park. It ended when Plains Police Officer James Armstrong shot a suspect inside the Upbeat music store where the teenager worked.
“The Des Plaines Police Department entered another jurisdiction, the city of Chicago, and chased this man and entered the interior of Upbeat where Rylan Wilder, through no fault of his own, had his arm blown off. “said Cavanaugh.
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Cook County State Attorney’s Office Kim Foxx has announced that Armstrong will not be charged as a criminal for pulling the trigger in November 2019. After an external review, Foxx’s office released a statement saying in part: “The state appeals attorney’s office has completed its review and agreed that no criminal charges were appropriate.”
“What I’m interested in is the evidence they looked at,” Cavanaugh said. “Did they question Officer Armstrong?” “
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In April, the police chief of the Plains takes the defense of his officer.
“What drove our agent to this store was to try to openly stop this armed offender who had just shot in the community,” Chief David Anderson said, adding: “It is possible that the offender has also contributed to the injuries of the young man. “
“Officer Armstrong had a personal weapon, an AR-15, a weapon of war that he used,” Cavanaugh said. “He also had a gun on him, I think it was a Glock. He chose to use that weapon of war that blew up Rylan’s left arm.”
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The state attorney’s decision not to lay criminal charges against Armstrong has no bearing on the civil case Wilder and his family are pursuing. Cavanaugh said he plans to call the officer for a deposition and get answers.
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