Crest Hill City Council approves $425,000 settlement in deadly police shooting

The Crest Hill City Council Chambers seen on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023, at Crest Hill City Center.

The Crest Hill City Council approved a $425,000 settlement for a woman whose husband was shot and killed by a police sergeant during a domestic battery call in 2022.

A resolution for the settlement was approved at Monday’s meeting by alderpeople John Vershay, Scott Dyke, Claudia Gazal, Darrell Jefferson, Tina Oberlin, Mark Cipiti, Nate Albert, and Joe Kubal. Crest Hill Mayor Ray Soliman did not vote on deal.

The city council did not make any comments about the settlement at the meeting.

In exchange for $425,000, Jasmine Coleman, the widow of Matthew Parks, agreed to drop any claims against the city or Crest Hill Police Sgt. Terry Fenoglio, who fatally shot Parks. No lawsuit was ever filed by Coleman, who agreed not to file one in the future.

Coleman agreed not to publicly discuss the settlement and not disparage the city or its staff. Coleman and the city also agreed the settlement itself was not an admission of fault or liability from the city, Fenoglio or any of its police officers.

The settlement will be paid out by the city’s insurers.

Coleman was represented by Plainfield attorney John Schrock, who declined to comment. Coleman submitted a civil rights claim against the police department through ADR Systems for mediation, according to a Dec. 4 court filing. Following a mediation process, the insurer for Crest Hill made the settlement offer.

Of the $425,000, about $139,824 would go to Coleman, $34,955 would go to her children and $145,350 would go toward attorney’s fees and costs, according to the Dec. 4 court filing.

1412 Pioneer Road in Crest Hill

Fenoglio was not found at fault in either the fatal shooting of Parks or the non-fatal shooting of Crest Hill Police Officer Ryan Tetlow during the March, 14, 2022 incident at an apartment building in the 1400 block of Pioneer Road.

Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow’s Office found no basis to prosecute Fenoglio, who was cleared by an internal investigation from his own department, according to the resolution approved by the city council. The state’s attorney’s office did immediately respond to questions about the case on Tuesday.

Officers had responded to a 911 call at the Pioneer Road apartment and learned Coleman reported she was punched in the face by Parks, who was refusing to let her and her children leave, the city’s resolution said.

During the incident, Parks brandished a knife and refused to come out of the apartment, after which “events escalated and resulted in the use of deadly force by police,” the resolution said.

The incident was investigated by the Will-Grundy Major Crimes Task Force. Will County Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Dan Jungles, who was in charge of the task force at the time of the shooting, said Fenoglio was not interviewed. He said Fenoglio’s police union declined to have him interviewed.

Jungles said if someone doesn’t want to give a statement, they can’t do anything about it, which happens more often than not.

“They let their actions be based on the evidence and witness statements,” Jungles said.

When task force officials initially released a statement about the incident, they incorrectly said Parks had stabbed another officer in the leg. Instead, it was Fenoglio who had shot Tetlow in the leg.

In a statement, Crest Hill Police Chief Ed Clark said the city and all involved officers have denied “any wrongdoing associated with the incident.”

“While this unfortunate situation resulted in Matthew Parks losing his life, the officers involved acted appropriately given the circumstances they encountered when responding to this domestic disturbance call for assistance,” Clark said.

While Fenoglio was not interviewed by the task force, Clark said the internal investigation included an interrogation of him. Afterward, it was determined Fenoglio did not violate departmental policies, he said.

Tetlow has not returned to work as an officer, Clark said.

In 2022, Fenoglio had been charged with misdemeanor domestic battery in Kendall County but the charges were dropped last year.