HAMMOND | The Lake County prosecutor's office charged a county police officer with misdemeanor battery and disorderly conduct.
Louis Vasquez, 31, of East Chicago, has been placed on administrative leave by the Sheriff's Department, said John Cantrell, Vasquez's defense attorney.
Cantrell argues the officer is a victim of misidentification in a chaotic brawl that took place in the early morning hours of Sept. 15 at Flick's Tavern, 6205 Kennedy Ave.
Hammond police allege officers arriving at the scene at 3 a.m. saw Vasquez, who was off-duty, slam a woman to the ground in the parking lot outside the bar.
The woman told Hammond police she was punched in the face by Vasquez as she tried to break up a fight between him and another man inside the bar, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Cantrell said Hammond officers confused Vasquez with an off-duty Chicago police officer who looked similar to Vasquez and was fighting nearby.