Ottawa woman gets probation for kicking, spitting at cops

First-time felon apologized, asked for 2nd chance


An Ottawa woman avoided prison Friday despite spitting in the face of an Ottawa police officer and kicking a second officer in the groin.

Lindsey A. Jaggers, 35, could have been sentenced to up to seven years in prison after entering a blind plea in February to two counts of aggravated battery to a peace officer and to misdemeanor driving under the influence.

When offered a chance to speak, Jaggers said she spoke with “an extremely heavy heart” before dissolving into tears, apologizing to Ottawa police and asking for a second chance.

“I am deeply remorseful for the mistake I made and the harm I caused,” Jaggers said. “I understand the gravity of my past actions, and I am prepared to accept any conditions.”

La Salle County Circuit Judge Cynthia M. Raccuglia decided that Jaggers, a first-time felon, warranted probation.

“What you did that day was disgusting, really,” said Raccuglia, who had viewed a pair of videos of Jaggers lashing out during the 2021 arrest. “I have seen conduct like that, but not a lot.”

Raccuglia also ordered Jaggers, as a condition of her probation, to write a letter of apology to the Ottawa Police Department. That letter, the judge ruled, must include an acknowledgement that the officer upon whom she spat had acted professionally and in no way had it coming.

Jaggers was charged after Ottawa police officers conducted a traffic stop Aug. 14, 2021, on an impaired motorist, later identified as Jaggers. Prosecutors said Jaggers became “unruly” and spat in the face of an officer at the scene.

After being taken to the police station, Jaggers resumed her struggle and kicked another officer in his groin, all captured on surveillance video.

At sentencing Friday, Assistant La Salle County State’s Attorney Jeremiah Adams asked for a sentence of four years in prison. Adams said he would seldom ask for prison for a first-time felon, but said Jaggers’ continuous course of conduct, and not merely the spitting and kicking, demanded repercussions.

“The way she acted is really beyond the pale,” Adams said. “These officers didn’t deserve to be treated like that.”

Peru attorney Brian Vescogni said he actually agreed with Adams’ overall characterization of the incident – “She made some terrible choices. She said some terrible things” – but said Jaggers’ conduct was an “outlier” driven by alcohol and mental health issues for which she’d taken accountability and sought help.

“And I don’t think she realized the impact it was having on her life until she hit rock bottom,” Vescogni said, adding later, “She’s done everything she could to try to right the ship.

“I think she’s the perfect candidate for probation. I just don’t believe you’re ever going to see Ms. Jaggers again.”

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