Four juveniles in a 1993 Pontiac Grand Am who harassed and assaulted several people over the course of an hour on the afternoon of April 13 were later arrested in Maywood.
The first incident occurred at 4:13 p.m. at the CTA station at 711 Desplaines Ave. The victim told police that while he sat in his car, a man approached his window and asked him for money. He turned his head to get a dollar, and the man punched him in the face, snatched his money, and entered the Grand Am. The victim was treated at Loyola Hospital for injuries to his face and nose.
About 15 minutes later, police responded to a call reporting a battery at the Park District of Forest Park facility at 7501 Harrison St. The victim said he and his friends were at the park when the Grand Am pulled up in front of them, and two black males exited. One of the men, wearing a blue University of Illinois football jersey, approached the victim and asked for a dollar. When the victim refused, the offender began punching him with both hands.
As a witness came to the scene, the offenders entered the car and drove off eastbound on Harrison Street. The victim said he knew his assailant’s brother and told police a possible place of residence.
About 10 minutes later, a woman sitting on a bench at the PACE bus stop at 345 Harlem Ave. reported being struck in the head by a plastic bottle thrown out of the same car. She said the youth who threw the bottle laughed at her and said something, which she couldn’t understand. She gave police the car’s license number and the bottle, which was inventoried as evidence.
Finally, at 4:45 p.m., a man told police that as he exited his Elgin Avenue apartment while speaking on his cellphone, a car pulled up and a passenger asked for a dollar. When he said no, the man asked to use his phone, and he again declined. The man then asked for directions to Randolph Street. As he gave the passenger directions, the man punched him in the face, and exited the car as the driver prodded him to keep hitting the victim and to take his phone.
When the victim threatened to call police, the car fled southbound on Elgin. Police Chief James Ryan was unavailable for further comment about the arrest before the Review went to press.
Woman assaulted by stranger while in bed
A resident of the 600 block of Lathrop Ave. told police that on the night of April 7, while lying in bed half asleep with her eyes closed, she heard her bedroom door open. She looked up to find a man standing in her doorway.
He told her to be quiet, and asked her if she had any money. She said she did not, and asked the man, who was holding a silver vice grip, who he was and how he got in. The woman told Sgt. Eric Bell that the man then walked toward her bed, began to rub her hair, and told her “do not scream or I’ll break your [expletive] neck.”
She pulled the covers over herself because she thought the man was going to rape her, and when he tried to pull it back, she began kicking and screaming, and he lunged forward to choke her.
Her roommate heard the commotion from his bedroom, and entered the room and confronted the offender, who was able to push past him and exit the house.
During the struggle, the offender dropped a cellphone which he had grabbed from the woman, as well as his silver vice grips and a cloth necklace.
Police Chief James Ryan said a suspect had been identified, and police are currently awaiting results from DNA tests.
Fake gun, stolen tires found during littering stop
After seeing a plastic bottle thrown out of a car on the afternoon of April 12, Sgt. Mike Murphy curbed a 1998 Buick Regal.
He noticed three large tires, each with chrome wheels, in the backseat. The driver told Murphy and Officer Marcin Scislowicz that both tires were given to him by a friend who wanted them sold on the street, and said he believed they were likely stolen.
Another tire was found in the trunk of the car, along with a black plastic “airsoft” pistol, modeled after a Glock 9 mm handgun, and a roll of duct tape.
The driver later told police that he was just driving his brother, Thomas Knuth, to the West Side to sell the tires. He said he did not know where his brother, who has a heroin problem, got the tires. The driver, who had no criminal history, acknowledged that the gun and tape were his, but denied that they had been used in any crimes.
Knuth, meanwhile, denied knowledge of the tires or the gun, and denied knowledge of ever having been arrested despite two warrants and a theft convict. He was held for DuPage County police because of an outstanding warrant, and was issued a local ordinance ticket for littering.
These items were taken from the records of the Forest Park Police Department between April 7 and April 16 and represent only a portion of the incidents to which police responded. Anyone named in this report has only been charged with a crime. The cases have not yet been adjudicated.
“Compiled by Seth Stern