Sheriff’s deputy who thwarted Oct. 1 robbery of Rockford’s Marie’s Pizza cleared for duty
By Brandon Reid
Frank Pobjecky, the 29-year-old off-duty sheriff’s deputy who shot four suspects — killing one — in an Oct. 1 attempted robbery of Marie’s Pizza, has been cleared for duty following an investigation into his actions.
Pobjecky was at Marie’s Pizza, 1513 Charles St., Rockford, visiting a friend when at about 10:40 p.m., Oct. 1, four individuals armed with a handgun attempted to rob the pizzeria. Following an altercation over the weapon, Pobjecky shot all four suspects — Desmond Bellmon, 23, of Rockford; Brandon Sago, 22, of Rockford; Lamar Coates, 23, of Rockford; and Michael D. Sago, 16, of Rockford.
Michael Sago died on the scene at 1:20 a.m. as a result of his wounds.
Pobjecky’s actions were investigated by the Rockford Police Department and reviewed by both the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Winnebago County Grand Jury, all of which supported Pobjecky’s actions.
A release issued Oct. 20 by the office of Winnebago County Sheriff Richard A. Meyers stated: “It is important to recognize that Deputy Pobjecky was injected into a situation created by four armed robbery suspects who were carrying out a violent forcible felony while armed with a weapon. This was a real-time, dynamic situation in which Deputy Pobjecky was in fear of his life and the lives of others in the business at the time of this robbery. It is our opinion that there was no opportunity for Deputy Pobjecky to react differently or use any other alternative action based upon the actions of the four suspects.
“After reviewing the situation, the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office believes that Deputy Pobjecky was in compliance with all department policies and procedures, and he acted according to proper police training,” the release from the sheriff’s office added. “We wholeheartedly support Deputy Pobjecky’s commendable actions, and he will be reinstated to his normal working assignment.”
Pobjecky had been on paid administrative leave, standard department procedure for these types of incidents.
Pobjecky was hired by the Sheriff’s Office as a deputy May 9, 2008, and is a veteran of the United States Army. During his enlistment in the Army, Pobjecky was deployed to Iraq.
Marie’s Pizza is owned by Vince and Maria Tarara of Belvidere.
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