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Rousso Cited with DUI Days Before Her Name Was Released

The Highland Park 18-year-old who drove into a family, killing a 5-year-old girl, was cited with driving under the influence shortly after the crash on Monday. Why wasn't her name disclosed to the public until Wednesday evening?

The 18-year-old Highland Park resident , was cited with a DUI shortly after the crash on Monday, two days before , according to the Lake County States' Attorney's office.

The driver's identity was not revealed on Monday because charges had not been filed yet, according to a news release sent out Monday afternoon by the . On Wednesday evening, a news release from the Highland Park City Manager's office identified the driver as Carly Rousso and said she'd been cited with "driving under the influence of an intoxicating compound or combination of intoxicating compounds in connection with protocols associated with blood and urine draws."

However, according to Lake County Deputy State's Attorney Traffic Division Chief Ken LaRue, that citation was handed down two days earlier, at , where Rousso had blood drawn so that it could be tested for drugs or alcohol.

"She was charged Monday," La Rue said. "When we draw blood we need to issue a ticket."

After her blood was drawn, Rousso was taken to the Highland Park Police Department, where mugshots were taken and she was released on bond.

Calls to the police department were not immediately returned Thursday afternoon. To view the ticket issues Monday, click on the PDF icon above.

Some members of the community, like City Councilman Tony Blumberg, are perplexed by the delay in the release of information.

"The press release from the Highland Park Police Department indicated no charges were filed, and I have no idea why that is," Blumberg said.

The two-day lag between the citation and the release of Rousso's identity might have been caused by the fact that there's a difference between a citation being issued and a charge being filed, according to LaRue. Though Rousso was charged on Monday, the county clerk didn't file her charge until Wednesday, which was when she was given her case number and court date.

"Technically, charges are filed when the case number is assigned," LaRue told Patch. "The clerk just assigned a number Wednesday."

Blumberg was nonplussed by this suggestion.

"I don't understand that explanation," the councilman said. "I can't explain why it was handled in this way."

Deputy City Manager Ghida Neukirch told Patch on Thursday evening that the initial misdemeanor charge of DUI was filed for the purpose of getting blood and urine samples, without which those tests would not have been possible. Police were following the direction of the State's Attorney's office, which wanted to complete its investigation before final charges were identified and made. However, after pressure was placed on the State's Attorney's office on Wednesday, that initial charge was made public. 

"We were going under the guidance of the Lake County State's Attorney," Neukirch said.

Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering is one of many people who expressed frustration that Rousso was allowed to go free after Monday's crash. The mayor pointed her frustration towards the States' Attorney's office in .

"The City Council, staff and I are frustrated by the delayed manner in which this case is being handled," Rotering said.

Investigation continues

As the community plans Thursday evening for Jaclyn, the States' Attorney's Office continues its investigation. The major crash assistance team is assembling to diagram what happened and examine Rousso's vehicle. Meanwhile, LaRue is waiting on toxicology reports and on phone records to see if Rousso was texting at the time of the crash.

"It doesn't make any sense to charge someone with something until we get the full investigation," La Rue said.

Potential charges include aggravated driving under the influence, which is a class two felony that can lead to a prison sentence of three to 14 years, or reckless homicide, a class three felony that can lead to probation or up to five years in prison.

When questioned about criticisms that his office was working at a slow pace throughout the investigation, LaRue stressed the importance of due process.

"We don't want to rush to judgment. When you do that, that's when mistakes are made," he said. "A young girl died, there's no reason we should deviate from established protocol."

Though he doesn't understand LaRue's explanation for why Rousso's name was not revealed earlier, Blumberg said he was satisfied with the way the State's Attorney's Office has handled the evidence in the case.

"The investigation is proceeding correctly," he said. "The issues of disclosure to the public, while disturbing, has no impact on the due process necessary to a legal proceeding."

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paul September 12, 2012 at 03:41 AM
Probably the only reason the HPP took the urine samples was because they probably thought it was the mothers and they wanted to charge her with stepping in front of the car. We all know how the HPP are.
Deerfield Resident September 12, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Take the high road......this would NOT have happened to my kid unless the car had steering and brake issues...I know what type of people my kids are and refuse to let these parents of this mess of an adult living at home off the hook. From her postings, drug busts and rumors alone she should never have been allowed to walk the streets without supervision let alone drive. How dare you say there are 2 families grieving....no one should give a damn about the Roussos feelings. Throw her in jail.....enough said.
kurt swanson September 13, 2012 at 05:16 PM
like cold and sinus meds you will most likely need show a l.d. to buy computer cleaner
Mary Pike September 16, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Well said. Race is always a part of things in our society. To believe it otherwise is part of the reason anti racist change comes so slowly. Not to question in what way privilege was part of this tragedy would be more colorblind thinking which doesn't offer a way through this obvious and pertinent issue. True: no winners in this tragedy, only the chance to look more deeply at our assumptions and how to be better citizens.
Benny G. September 18, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Anyone with a "Marine Sniper" handle and signing "Semper Fi!" definitely has never had anything to do with any branch of the military...Just saying. You're a phony at face. Give it up and spare us all.

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