When the county cops found Brandon Lauer sprawled and bleeding in a Frankfort Square parking lot, the wounded youth accused the son of Will County Board Chairman Jim Moustis of cutting him up with a knife.
Just 18 hours before this, Lauer had called the law and told them he was on the wrong end of another knife attack, this one at the hands of his former girlfriend, who is now dating Moustis’ son, Matthew Moustis.
The younger Moustis, age 17, was jailed on a charge of aggravated battery in connection with the second alleged knife attack, which the police say he perpetrated July 14 in the parking lot of Indian Trail School on Frankfort Square Road.
The 16-year-old girl Lauer accused of stabbing him before that, in the early hours of July 14, was in on the second incident as well, Lauer said. He claims she handed Matthew Moustis the knife he allegedly used to slash his neck and stick into his chest.
“She did it slowly, so I wouldn’t see,” Lauer, 18, said. Differing stories
But Jeff Tomczak, the attorney representing Matthew Moustis, claims a private investigator in his employ discovered two witnesses who have said Lauer was alone when he was supposedly being stabbed by his client.
“The only thing that’s proved beyond a reasonable doubt at this point is that Matt and his friend were not at the park at the time this individual was stabbed,” Tomczak said.
Lauer’s parents, Eric and Laura Lauer, however, insist one of these witnesses will put Moustis and his girlfriend at the scene of the crime.
“He saw Matthew Moustis stab him,” Laura Lauer said.
Brandon Lauer claims Matthew Moustis slashed his neck. When he fell to the ground, he said, Matthew Moustis plunged the knife in his chest.
Paramedics transported Lauer to St. James Hospital in Olympia Fields. He was then flown in a helicopter to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn for further treatment.
Now out of the hospital, Brandon Lauer says he is still “really sore and light-headed.”
Tomczak said his investigator turned up evidence that Brandon Lauer was stalking and harassing his former girlfriend prior to the night of the stabbing. He also said court records show the young man has a history of cutting himself.
Brandon Lauer denied this, but in a petition for an order of protection his mother sought against him in 2006, Laura Lauer wrote, “Brandon is bi-polar and has (an) anger problem, He’s off his meds … In the past Brandon has cut his arms with a knife.”
On Tuesday, Laura Lauer flatly denied making the sworn statement, then said, “I don’t recall that.”
Matthew Moustis is free on a $5,000 cash bond while he awaits trial on a class 3 felony charge that could land him in prison for five years. Eric Lauer thinks his son’s alleged attacker got off easy, with too low a bond and too light a charge.
“It should not be aggravated battery. It should be attempted murder,” he said. “They left my son there to die.”
It’s called, ‘Will County is corrupt,’” said Laura Lauer. “It’s all about politics.” First call to police
Brandon Lauer was in much better shape the first time he called the police that day to said he was stabbed.
On that occasion, Brandon Lauer said that he went to his teenage former girlfriend’s Orchard Drive house to return clothes and other gifts she had given him — including a pocket knife — since they had broken off their relationship.
When the girl threatened to cut herself, Brandon Lauer said, he grabbed the blade of the knife.
“That’s why I called the cops,” he said. “Because she cut my hand.”
Also that night, Brandon Lauer said, Matthew Moustis, one of Moustis’ cousins and two other young men showed up at the girl’s house. Lauer said words were exchanged and that the cousin pushed him.
Soon after Moustis’ arrest, State’s Attorney James Glasgow handed the case off to the state appellate prosecutor’s office “because we have a professional relationship with the county board and we wanted to make sure there wouldn’t be even the appearance of a conflict,” said Glasgow’s spokesman, Charles B. Pelkie.
Tomczak said he will request that the appellate prosecutor drop the charges. He also plans to file a motion for a forensic pathologist to examine Lauer’s wounds to see if they were self-inflicted, thereby clearing Matthew Moustis.
“This young man has been wrongly accused,” Tomczak said. “I truly believe that.”
Jim Moustis declined to discuss the details of his son’s case but did maintain that the teen is innocent.
“It is really tough when your son is accused of a crime,” said Moustis, who has been the chairman of the county board since 1998.
“A child really, just turned 17, is accused of a crime and you know he didn’t do it,” Moustis said.
But the alleged victim’s father felt a bit differently.
“Will County dropped the ball, and that’s because of who his dad is,” said Eric Lauer. “It’s far from over, and it gets worse every day.”