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DRIVER WHO FLED JAIL, STRUCK OFFICERS, FORMALLY CHARGED

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010— A Chicago woman has been criminally charged after using her vehicle to strike two Cook County Jail correctional officers while a friend eluded questioning by officers, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced Wednesday.

Jeanette Cabrera-MatuteJeanette Cabrera-Matute, 20, of the 2300 block of North Lockwood Avenue, is charged with two counts of aggravated battery to an officer, a felony. She appeared in bond court Tuesday and she was ordered to be placed on electronic monitoring as she awaits trial.

The incident began around 10 a.m. Monday in the 2800 block of West 31st Street – just outside the entrance to the maximum security Division 9 building at the Cook County Jail. A friend had asked Cabrera-Matute to driver her there so she could visit a male friend.

Cabrera-Matute dropped her friend at the gate and waited in her car nearby. But when the friend got inside Division 9, she was denied entry. The visitor then made a comment that she thought she had cleared up all of her warrants for her arrest and didn’t think she had any more. In fact, she was being denied entry because of an earlier incident involving a visit with the same detainee.

As she left Division 9, a supervising officer tried to stop her to ask additional questions about her comment about warrants for her arrest. As officers ordered her to stop, she ran toward the car and yelled at Cabrera-Matute to go, as she jumped in the car. Cabrera-Matute hurriedly put the car in reverse and struck one officer with her car. Another officer approaching the front of the car was then struck as Cabrera-Matute drove east on 31st Street toward California Avenue.

Cabrera-Matute then headed southbound on Interstate 55 at a high rate of speed and lost control of her 2001 Mitsubishi Mirage near the Pulaski Street exit, where she struck a concrete wall and crashed her car. Officers attempting to locate the fleeing vehicle saw the accident happen and as they arrived at the scene, the two women were exiting the car. Both were taken into custody there.

Investigators determined that while the passenger did once have warrants for her arrest, all had recently been cleared. She was released without being charged. Cabrera-Matute was hospitalized overnight and treated for several non-life-threatening injuries. Both officers were also treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released.

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