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Local News

Man who beat Joliet police officer gets supervised outings

JOLIET – Adam M. Mihelich will be allowed supervised outings from the mental institution where he has been held since a 2009 incident in which he brutally beat a Joliet police officer and threatened to burn down an ex-girlfriend's house.

Mihelich, 34, has responded well enough to medication and therapy that Judge Gerald Kinney decided Tuesday he is eligible to take unsupervised walks outside the Elgin Mental Health Center and supervised trips to the library or a community program.

"In November 2016, [Mihelich] will be released whatever we do or don't do. What I see here is an effort to make sure he will function in the community," Kinney said.

Mihelich is the son of Joliet Junior College board Chairman Andrew Mihelich, who attended the hearing.

Dr. Faiza Kareemi, a psychologist who has been treating Mihelich for two years, said he has been "clinically and behaviorally stable for some time" and the staff feels outings are the next step in his rehabilitation.

At the clinic, Mihelich will be allowed outside for 30 minutes up to three times a day to walk around the grounds. There is a 4-foot fence with cameras and security guards, but the gate is open, Kareemi said.

For outings, one staffer supervises every three patients, with no more than nine patients in a group at one time.

On June 9, 2009, Mihelich got two gallons of gasoline and went to his ex-girlfriend's house in the Wesmere subdivision. The woman's mother and grandmother called police when Mihelich began throwing flower pots through the windows and threatened to burn down the house.

Joliet police officer Joe Gerrettie arrived to confront Mihelich who "charged him like a bull, put him in a bearhug and began headbutting him," police said at the time. Gerrettie was then beaten for three minutes as Mihelich tried to unholster his gun before another officer arrived, police said.

Gerrettie suffered brain injuries that led to his early retirement the following year. He died in January 2013.

Mihelich was tried for attempted arson and aggravated battery to a police officer, but found not guilty by reason of insanity in November 2009.

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