Former Orland Hills cop gets 6 years for fatal DUI crash
July 9, 2013 4:04PM
Robert C. Caputo / photo from Will County Sheriff's office
Updated: August 11, 2013 6:41AM
A former Orland Hills police officer was sentenced Tuesday to six years in prison for a drunken-driving collision that killed a 20-year-old Rich Township man in 2010.
Robert C. Caputo, 62, of 8811 W. 167th Place, Orland Hills, pleaded guilty in May to aggravated DUI, a Class 2 felony that carries a penalty of three to 14 years in prison.
Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow said in a statement that Caputo’s decision to drink and drive was a “callous” one that merited the sentence handed down by Will County Circuit Judge Edward Burmila.
“He can now spend the next six years in state prison contemplating the horrific outcome of his selfish action,” Glasgow said.
But Caputo’s attorney said he was surprised at the length of the sentence.
“Although Mr. Caputo was facing a sentence of 14 years, we are still somewhat surprised at the judge’s decision,” attorney Paul Napolski, who represented Caputo with Brian Telander and Brad Telander, told the Herald-News.
“However, we emphasize the fact that Mr. Caputo continues to take full responsibility for this tragic accident,” Napolski said.
Caputo, who worked part time for the Orland Hills police department in the 1990s, was driving his pickup on eastbound I-80 near New Lenox on Sept. 12, 2010, when his truck hit a Chevrolet Malibu parked on the left shoulder of the road, according to the state’s attorney’s office.
DaVon Pitts had parked there because of a flat tire, and was inside talking on his cell phone when the crash occurred. The impact forced the car into a ditch, where it caught fire, prosecutors said.
Pitts, a 2009 graduate of Homewood-Flossmoor High School, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Pitts was working two jobs and studying to become a veterinarian and was on his way home from one of those jobs when he was killed in the fiery crash.
Caputo’s blood-alcohol level was .11 shortly after the crash, prosecutors said. After the collision, his truck went airborne, crossed the median into the westbound lanes and hit another vehicle, according to prosecutors. The 40-year-old driver of that vehicle, as well as a 32-year-old woman and a 10-year-old boy inside, escaped serious injury.
Contributing: Sun-Times Media Wire, Janet Lundquist