Mother of DUI victim: ‘Please don’t drink and drive’
BY JANET LUNDQUIST firstname.lastname@example.org June 25, 2013 5:14PM
Robert Caputo | Photo courtesy of Will County Sheriff's office
Updated: July 27, 2013 6:34AM
The mother of a 20-year-old man who was killed by a drunken driver in a fiery crash in 2010 teared up Tuesday as she spoke about her son during a sentencing hearing for the man who crashed into his vehicle.
Regina Pitts told Will County Judge Edward Burmila how losing her son, DaVon Pitts, changed her life forever.
She also asked the former Orland Hills police officer who hit her son’s car, Robert C. Caputo, to never drive drunk again.
“Mr. Caputo, I hope you open your heart to feel my excruciating pain,” Pitts said from the witness stand, while looking over at Caputo at the defense table.
“Please don’t drink and drive,” she said. “Next time it could be your son ... families are torn apart, mind, body and soul.”
Caputo, 62, pleaded guilty May 17 to a felony charge of aggravated driving under the influence the fiery 2010 crash on Interstate 80 near New Lenox.
Caputo, who worked part time for the Orland Hills police department in the 1990s, faces three to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced by Burmila on July 9.
“We’re confident in whatever decision the judge will make,” said attorney Paul Napolski, who represents Caputo with attorney Brian Telander.
“This always has been and continues to be a tragedy which spans the course of two families,” Napolski said.
DaVon Pitts’ Chevrolet Malibu got a flat tire when he was headed home from work Sept. 12, 2010. He had parked on the left shoulder of eastbound I-80 and was on his cell phone when his vehicle was hit about 4:20 p.m. by a pickup truck driven by Caputo, authorities said.
The impact forced Pitts’ car into the ditch near the right shoulder, where it burst into flames, authorities said. Caputo’s truck went airborne over the concrete median and hit an oncoming vehicle.
Pitts, of Rich Township, who was working two part-time jobs and taking classes at Prairie State College, was identified later that night by his dental records, authorities said.
“I truly miss my ‘Von Von’ something awful,” Pitts said. “The pain is unbearable.
“To anyone who can hear me, please don’t drink and drive or allow anyone else to,” she said.