Police sued for false arrest

By on February 25, 2011

by Lynn Meredith
Elburn—A man who was arrested for driving on an expired driver’s license has filed suit against the Elburn Police for false arrest. Roger Gilbert, 27, who resides in South Korea where he teaches English, was pulled over for going 52 mph in a 30 mph zone on Dec. 22, 2010.

Gilbert produced an expired insurance card and a driver’s license from South Korea. The officer did not accept the license as valid in Illinois. He then checked on Gilbert’s Illinois license and found it to have expired.

Gilbert was arrested for speeding, driving without a valid driver’s license and given a written warning for operating an uninsured vehicle.

He was detained at the Elburn Police station for three hours. During that time, Gilbert’s uncle, who is a Wheaton police officer, called Elburn and explained that Gilbert’s South Korean license was valid under Illinois law. After a call to the State’s Attorney’s office, the officers released Gilbert and dropped the charge of driving without a valid license.

Gilbert had been living in South Korea for three years and was in town visiting family over Christmas.

Gilbert’s attorney, Larry Jackowiak of Chicago, did not return phone calls as of press time.

Elburn Police Chief Steve Smith declined to comment, citing the pending lawsuit.