Round Lake man who died after arrest had bruises, lawyer says

  • Abel Rosiles

    Abel Rosiles Courtesy of Julie Contreras

Updated 6/22/2020 6:57 PM

A Round Lake man who died after ingesting a bag of cocaine during a June 10 arrest had bruises on his body like he'd been struck and pinned to the ground by someone's knees, a lawyer for the man's family said Monday.

Abel Rosiles, 21, was hospitalized and showing no signs of brain activity after the encounter with police at a Round Lake Beach gas station. He died early Thursday morning.


Rosiles family attorney Frank Avila said his clients have hired renowned medical examiner Dr. Michael Baden to perform an autopsy. Baden's full report, being compiled with the assistance of former Lake County Coroner Dr. Thomas Rudd, isn't complete.

Rosiles' death also is being investigated by the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force. Task Force spokeswoman Detective Heather Cognac of the Wauconda Police Department said she is not aware of evidence any Round Lake Beach police officers placed their knees on Rosiles or mistreated him.

Lake County Coroner Dr. Howard Cooper said his office's autopsy found no evidence Rosiles had been beaten.

Baden, 85, is among the country's most experienced pathologists. He served as a pathologist for the U.S. House committee which investigated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and has been an expert witness in high-profile cases, including the O.J. Simpson trial. He's also been hired to investigate the deaths of Jeffrey Epstein and George Floyd.

Authorities say Rosiles was arrested June 10 after a gas station employee called police to report that the Round Lake man was yelling at him. Round Lake Beach officers attempted to arrest Rosiles for disorderly conduct, but he broke away and ran about 30 feet before officers caught him, according to police.

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While Rosiles was in custody, officers noticed he was having trouble breathing and asked if he was choking, authorities say. Rosiles nodded and body camera footage released over the weekend shows an officer performing the Heimlich maneuver.

"He's breathing. I've got his stomach moving up and down," an officer says in the video. "He's breathing, just keep his airway open 'til they get there."

Paramedics later used a tool to extract a large plastic bag from Rosiles' throat, police said, and powder in the bag tested positive for cocaine.

Avila said the bodycam footage released by police doesn't tell the whole story.

"Nowhere in the video does it show him eating or swallowing anything. That's the mystery," Avila said.

Round Lake Beach Deputy Police Chief Wayne Wilde said there is footage of the initial encounter from gas station cameras, but that is being held by the Task Force.

Avila said the family intends to file a lawsuit related to Rosiles' death.

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