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Man who attacked Riverside officer with ice pick in May dies after jumping into Chicago canal

Published: Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014 4:02 p.m. CDT
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Jamie J. Cantellano, 21, of the 5400 block of South Keeler Avenue in Chicago, died after jumping in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal in Chicago Wednesday night, according to police reports.

RIVERSIDE – A man charged by Riverside police in May with assaulting a Riverside police officer with an ice pick, died Wednesday night after jumping from a bridge into the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal in the 3800 block of South Pulaski in Chicago.

According to a Chicago police spokesman, officers responded to the scene after a report that a man had jumped from a bridge into the canal at about 6:22 p.m. The police department's marine unit responded and transported Jaime Cantellano, 21, of the 5400 block of South Keeler Avenue, Chicago, to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at about 8 p.m.

A spokesman for the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office said a cause of death ruling was pending.

Riverside police charged Cantellano May 14 after police were called to investigate a report of a suspicious person banging and repeatedly ringing the doorbell of a home in the 300 block of Shenstone Road at 12:40 p.m.

When an officer arrived, Cantellano threatened the officer with an ice pick and led police on a foot pursuit, before being stuck with a Taser and tackled in the front yard of a home in the 400 block of Blythe Road. 

It was later learned that Cantellano was part of a landscaping crew who had worked on the resident's home years before, according to police reports. Police said Cantellano told investigators during an interview that he believed the resident was a free mason and needed to be killed. 

In May, Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel spoke out after Cantellano was released on an I-Bond, which only requires a signature for release. In light of Cantellano's death, Weitzel maintains he believes Cantellano would have been better served in custody or in a state hospital where he could have received treatment, Weitzel said Thursday.

According to Weitzel, Cantellano was due in court again at the end of August. A continuance was granted at Cantellano's last court appearance for psychiatric evaluation, Weitzel said.

To read more of our previous coverage of the case, click here. 

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