Woman Allegedly Run Over During Shorewood Drug Ripoff Now Suing Driver
A young woman who police said broke her arm when it was run over by her friend's drug dealer has filed a lawsuit.
When the Shorewood police arrested a teen for allegedly beating and robbing another teenager who was trying to buy drugs from him, they also said the supposed dealer ran over a young woman's arm, but never charged him with harming her.
Now, more than a year and a half later, the woman's taking justice into her own hands and suing the man she says crushed her under his car.
Jessica Lood, 22, filed the lawsuit against 20-year-old Jacob Gajcak, who was 18 when he supposedly ran her over with his Chevy Impala.
According to the lawsuit, in May 2011, Lood was in a car driven by 19-year-old Richard Englund. According to the police, she was also with Paul Durys, 19, of Plainfield, and they headed to Shorewood so Durys could buy marijuana from Gajcak.
Durys and Lood rendezvoused with Gajcak at the corner of Ranchwood and Colonade drives, police said. The plan was for Gajcak to sell Durys an ounce of marijuana, according to a police report, but it didn't work out that way.
Durys claimed Gajcak punched him in the face and snatched away the $360 he brought along to buy the pot, police said.
Durys fought back, and during the scuffle inside Gajcak's Impala, Lood jumped into the fray, police said. She then fell out of the Impala and suffered a broken arm when Gajcak ran her over as he drove off.
Nearly a week later, a Shorewood cop forced his way into the Dover Way home where Gajcak lives with his parents and sisters, Tased the teen and arrested him on felony charges of aggravated battery and robbery, along with a misdemeanor count of resisting arrest.
Prosecutors reduced those charges to battery and theft—both misdemeanors. The now-retired police chief, Robert Puleo, said he expected the state's attorney's office to reinstate the felonies but that never happened.
Gajcak eventually pleaded guilty to the two misdeneanors and a count of obstructing police. He got off with conditional discharge but prosecutors sought to revoke his probation after he was arrested on charges of knowingly damaging property and driving under the influence, and for a traffic case. The probation revocation case is still pending.
Lood's lawsuit makes no mention of her pal trying to buy pot.
Lood's attorney, Michael Cetina of Wheaton, pointed out that his client was only got involved to help Durys.
"She tried to stop the fight," Cetina said. "She was trying to prevent her friend from being attacked."
The lawsuit also names Gajcak's father, James Gajcak, as a respondent. Cetina included James Gajcak because he "owns a business with a separate business policy which may or may not provide coverage for the actions of his son," the lawsuit said.
While his son was still facing misdemeanor charges in connection with the May 2011 incident, James Gajcak questioned whether Lood actually suffered a broken arm.
"She comes into court," he said, "she doesn't have bandages or a cast on."
Cetina said Lood was seriously injured.
"It was bad," he said, adding that her arm is "not going to be 100 percent."
Updated 2:30 p.m. Feb. 1 with comments from attorney Michael Cetina