July 25, 2008
BY JOE HOSEY AND JANET LUNDQUIST
The man who wore a wire on Drew Peterson angrily confronted the former suburban cop outside a Bolingbrook barbershop today, shoving him during a heated parking lot dustup that drew nine squad cars.
Peterson kept his cool as neighbor and former friend Len Wawczak ambushed him in the parking lot, hurling obscenities as gawkers egged him on.
Lenny Wawczak (left) confronts Drew Peterson in the parking lot of a strip mall on the 300 block of North Schmidt Road in Bolingbrook Friday afternoon. Bolingbrook Police were called to the scene.
“I’ll beat the [expletive] out of you!” Wawczak yelled. “You ain’t nothing but a murderer. Say something!” “Hit me,” Peterson replied. “I’m going down.”
After Wawczak kept yelling, Peterson turned around and Wawczak pushed him in the back. Peterson later said his back hurt.
Wawczak had just heard that Peterson was supposedly telling people he had slept with Wawczak’s wife. Wawczak also was angry after hearing that Peterson has shot dirty looks at Wawczak’s 20-year-old son at the barbershop.
It’s the latest odd twist in the Peterson saga. Just this week, Wawczak and his wife, Paula Stark, said they had worn a wire on Peterson for seven months. Peterson has been named a suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson. Police are also investigating the bathtub death of Peterson’s fourth wife, Kathleen Savio. Her death has been labeled a homicide.
Peterson has denied having anything to do with Savio’s death or Stacy’s disappearance.
On Friday, after learning that Peterson was getting his hair cut in a strip mall in the 300 block of North Schmidt Road in Bolingbrook, Wawczak waited for him between cars in the parking lot at about 1 p.m.
Peterson emerged from the barbershop with a short haircut and trimmed beard — and Wawczak popped out and began yelling at him.
“Someone call the cops,” Peterson calmly told onlookers. “Someone call the cops.” When no one did, Peterson got into his Pontiac Grand Prix and called police from his cell phone while Wawczak angrily paced outside.
Soon, nine squad cars arrived and officers spoke with both Wawczak and Peterson. Eventually, Wawczak got in the front seat of a squad car to file a report at the Bolingbrook police station. Peterson left for the station in his own car.
Peterson later left the station, but Wawczak remained inside.