On February 27, 2020, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office was notified of an incident where a paraprofessional from the Special Education District of Lake County (SEDOL) used excessive force while interacting with a seven-year-old student. The notification came from SEDOL administration and sheriff’s deputies commenced an investigation into the incident.
The investigation showed Justin Cole, 35, of the 2400 block of 82nd Street, Kenosha, WI, was in an intervention office with the seven-year-old boy. The seven-year-old pushed Cole and Cole responded by picking up a pillow and struck the seven-year-old in the head, utilizing the pillow as a barrier between the boy’s head and Cole’s hand. This caused the boy to fall to the ground and begin crying.
SEDOL administration took immediate action and terminated Cole’s employment.
Following the investigation, sheriff’s deputies reviewed the facts and circumstances with the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office. The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office drafted an arrest warrant for Cole on one count of battery (class A misdemeanor), which was authorized and signed by a Judge on March 27, 2020.
On March 30, 2020, Cole surrendered himself to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. He appeared in court and was released on a $25,000.00 Recognizance Bond pending a return court date of May 14, 2020.
All defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.