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Man held on $3 million bail in hit and run death of Cook County correctional officer

Friday, July 20, 2012
Chicago Sun-Times
by RUMMANA HUSSAIN

A Little Village man with a history of DUIs was ordered held on $3 million bail Saturday for the deadly hit and run accident that claimed the life of a Cook County correctional officer.

Juan Bello, 57, was charged with reckless homicide, leaving the scene of an accident and was cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian, driving too fast for conditions and driving on a revoked license.

Nikkii Bostic-Jones, 37, was thrown onto the road and pinned under a sheriff’s car when she was hit by Bello’s van as she crossed the street outside the Cook County jail on her way to work late Wednesday night, authorities said.

The married mother of a 6-year-old girl died at Mount Sinai Hospital.

“Everyone makes mistakes, but you left the scene of the accident,” Bostic-Jones’s sister Andrell Bostic said of Bello’s alleged conduct. “You left my sister there to die. You didn’t stop. You didn’t do nothing.”

Bello’s Illinois driver’s license was revoked in January 2010 for a DUI arrest in Iowa in Sept. 2009. He was eligible to get his license back in January 2011 but never applied, said David Druker, a spokesman for Secretary of State Jesse White. Bello also received court supervision for a 2002 DUI from LaSalle County, according to records.

Bello, who just lives just blocks from the accident, in the 2900 block of West 25th Street, was arrested when he pulled up in his blue van Thursday, his neighbors said.

Martin Taboada said his father and Bello would often hang out in their building’s backyard talking, playing poker and drinking beers.

“Damn, that’s messed up,” Taboada said Friday of the allegations against Bello, who the teen described as “nice and friendly.”

“I didn’t know he would do something like that.”

Meanwhile Friday, Cook County Sheriff Dart thanked the Chicago Police Department and other agencies for quickly apprehending the alleged culprit.

“Not only did CPD handle the accident investigation with remarkable urgency and respect, but the moral support from their officers to ours has been overwhelming,” Dart said in a statement.

“To have this case closed and charges approved so quickly brings closure to both the family and our entire office.”



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