The Winnebago County Sheriff says although a deputy is always a police officer, being off-duty can change how someone reacts to an incident. Deputy Frank Pobjecky was not on duty at the time of an attempted armed robbery Saturday night at Marie's Pizza, 1513 Charles Street, Rockford. Sheriff Richard Meyers says not being on the job means being without back-up and less in control of how those around will react.
"Sometimes you are forced to take a risky that you normally wouldn't take because of what's unfolding in front of you. Not only what's happening by the robbers, what are other patrons doing. So you lose control of the situation and it becomes very hectic and very chaotic and very violent at times and that's what our officer was faced with," says Sheriff Richard Meyers.
Sheriff Meyers says Deputy Pobjecky was not carrying his weapon. Because he was off-duty he did not have to. Instead he got his hands on another gun in the restaurant.
"When you are put into that situation it really becomes irrelevant who's weapon you use. It's survival. So you use whatever means possible," says Sheriff Meyers.
He says although the Rockford Police Department investigation is not complete it looks like Deputy Pobjecky reacted the way he should, according to departmental policy. And though recent officer-involved shootings in Winnebago County have gone before a grand jury. State's attorney Joe Bruscato could not say the same would follow in this situation.
"Too soon at this time to say whether or not anybody would be charged. We are going to take a look at the investigation when it's completed. Once we do that its premature," says State's Attorney Joe Bruscato.
The Winnebago County Sheriff Department will do an administrative review of the shooting after Rockford Police finish their investigation to decide if a further review is needed.
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