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SCHAUMBURG, Ill. - Authorities say a veteran suburban Chicago police officer is dead after he collapsed while apprehending a suspect.

The Cook County medical examiner says 47-year-old Schaumburg police officer Frank Russo died Saturday.

Schaumburg police say Russo was working on his night off and was called into a security disturbance.

Police say two suspects fled on foot. They were apprehended by Russo and another officer.

While police were making the arrest, one of the suspects broke free. Russo collapsed.

He was pronounced dead at Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Russo was a 19-year veteran of the Schaumburg Police Department.

A decorated Schaumburg patrol officer died early today after a chase and struggle with two suspects after responding to a call for help from security at a local bar.
Officer Frank Russo, who lived in McHenry County with his wife and two children, was pronounced dead at 2:37 a.m. at Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove Village of an apparent heart attack, said Sgt. John Nebl, the department's public information officer. An autopsy is under way to determine the exact cause of death, he said.
Russo, 47, was a 19-year veteran on the force and is the first officer to die in the line of duty for the Schaumburg Police Department, Nebl said.
Russo was a well-liked street officer known for his work ethic and sense of humor, said Nebl, who worked the midnight shift with Russo for three years in the 1990s.
"He was a great guy. He was a good police officer. He had a great sense of humor. He rolled up his sleeves to help his fellow officers. He was out there beating the bushes every night looking for the bad guys," Nebl said. "It's absolutely shocking."
Russo and his partner were working an extra detail at the John Barleycorn nightclub, 1100 American Lane in Schaumburg, when they were summoned by the club's security to help in a struggle with a man who was being removed from the club.
The man and a friend then fled the scene on foot. Russo and his partner located the two suspects a block away at a shopping center in the 1000 block of East Golf Road. The two officers struggled with the suspects as they tried to arrest them and that's when Russo collapsed to the ground, Nebl said.
Russo's partner immediately called an ambulance, which took Russo to Alexian where he was pronounced dead, Nebl said.
The two men are in custody in the case. They have not been charged, Nebl said.
Asked if the two could be charged in the officer's death, Nebl said it depends on what the investigation reveals and the determination of the Cook County State's Attorney's office as to what charges are appropriate.
An officer who is a good friend of Russo's has been named as the liaison to Russo's family to help them with funeral arrangements and other issues.
Schaumburg Director of Police Richard Casler said Russo leaves a big hole in the department. "It's tragic. He's going to be missed. He's one of those people who helped built trust in the community and exemplified all of our values," Casler said.
He said it will take time to heal. "It's a big hole. It takes people a while to realize it's even happening," said Casler, who was by the Russo family's side at the hospital overnight.
"As you can imagine, they're working through this. We have an officer working with them...," Casler said. "It's been pretty difficult for them. ... They're trying grapple with the enormity of losing a father and husband and brother."
Russo received a number of awards during his years on the force. They include three honorable mention awards: One was for his attention to duty, initiative and persistence in arresting suspects involved in numerous criminal damage to property crimes in 2000. Another was in 2002 when he and another officer arrested a suspect in possession of drugs that led to the arrest of another person with 1,000 tablets of Ecstasy. The third honor was for his work in 2004 when he responded to a well-being check on a suicidal subject, Nebl said. The man shot a gun through the front door at the officer, but surrendered after a two-hour standoff.
Russo also was honored for his involvement in an undercover operation dealing with prostitution and massage parlors and for his part in increasing DUI arrests, Nebl said.
 
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