Ex-cop's wire-wearing pal charged in scuffle
CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- A man who says he cooperated with police and wore a wire during conversations with a former police sergeant considered a suspect in his wife's disappearance was charged Friday with battery after shoving Drew Peterson in a barber shop parking lot.
Drew Peterson, with attorney Joel Brodsky, right, after a recent court hearing.
Len Wawczak, a former friend of Peterson's, was charged with misdemeanor battery and released after posting $100 bond.
"I pushed him twice. ... I don't have a problem with that," Wawczak told WLS-TV. "It was the best one hundred dollars I ever spent in my life. ... I'd do it again."
Peterson's lawyer, Joel Brodsky, said his client told investigators that Wawczak "ambushed and punched" him and that Peterson tried to "walk away from the confrontation and was punched once in the back."
Wawczak told the station he went to the barber shop after his son called him to say he and Peterson were there at the same time and that Peterson was "staring my son down ... giving him dirty looks."
Bolingbrook Lt. Ken Teppel confirmed police were called to the shop for a report of an altercation between Peterson and Wawczak. Wawczak was arrested based on a signed complaint from Peterson and witness statements, Teppel said.
Wawczak is scheduled to appear for an arraignment September 10, Teppel said. If found guilty, he faces fines, court fees and community service.
- Chicago Tribune: Pal accused of shoving Peterson
- WLS: Peterson, pal get in fight
- WLS: Couple talks about secret recordings
Wawczak did not have a listed telephone number.
Wawczak and his wife, Paula Stark, said they secretly taped Peterson after being contacted by the Illinois State Police in mid-November. They said they continued recording conversations through mid-June.
The couple claimed, among other things, that Peterson wished aloud that he'd cremated his third wife's remains and asked them to set fire to a memorial to his missing wife, Stacy.
Brodsky said this week that he doesn't know whether there are any tapes, but if there are, he was confident Peterson said nothing incriminating.
Peterson, in questioning the couple's motives, has said they had asked him for money and became angry when he would not lend it to them.
Stacy Peterson disappeared in October, and authorities have said they believe that she is dead. Her body has not been found.
Drew Peterson denies involvement in his wife's disappearance and says he believes that she left him for another man.