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Local News

Plainfield battery defendant claimed Democrats forced her to wear mask: records

A Plainfield woman arrested on battery charges at the Shorewood Mariano’s claimed to officers she was battered by Democrats who forced her to wear a mask, police reports show.

Shorewood Police Chief Aaron Klima said Janene Duff, 60, of the 1200 block of Partridge Drive, was arrested after she allegedly argued with people at the Mariano’s, 950 Brook Forest Ave., and battered one employee and an elderly man.

Klima said Duff was not arrested for not wearing a mask at the store. She faces two aggravated battery charges over the incident.

On Sept. 7, officers were sent to Mariano’s after receiving a complaint of an unwanted woman who punched several people and left in an SUV, according to Shorewood police reports.

One of the officers approached Duff and told her he was investigating a battery at Mariano’s, police reports said.

“Duff, who was irate, said she was battered by ‘Democrats’ for not using her mask,” the officer reported. “A moment later, she mentioned she wore her mask but [it] was located on her neck.”

Duff reluctantly agreed to step out of her vehicle, but then directed her anger toward the officer over the incident at the grocery store, police reports said.

“At this point, Duff refused to answer my questions, as well as refused to cooperate,” the officer wrote.

She attempted to return to her vehicle, but was temporarily placed under arrest until the officer finished conducting the investigation, police reports said.

Later, at the Shorewood Police Department booking room, Duff screamed profanities toward an officer, police reports said. An officer read Duff her constitutional rights from a preprinted form as a person being interviewed.

“Duff refused to sign the form, but stated Democrats forced her to wear a facial mask against her will,” the officer wrote. “Duff said she was struck about the face and wanted pictures taken to document what occurred. Duff would not say further.”

Masks help stop the spread of COVID-19 and people are recommended to wear one in public settings and when they can’t stay 6 feet away from others, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mariano's requires customers to wear masks.

Duff was ordered by Judge Brian Barrett to wear a mask in public places outside her home as a condition of her bond.

Duff works as a special education teaching assistant at Plainfield Central High School, according to Plainfield District 202 spokesman Thomas Hernandez.

When asked if Duff has been suspended or is still working for the district and if the district was investigating the incident, Hernandez said, “No comment.”

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