As 21-year-old Jose A. Rodriguez pulled his 1995 Oldsmobile up to the traffic safety checkpoint, police immediately noticed the smell of marijuana coming from the car.
Asked whether he had smoked any, Rodriguez told police, “Yeah, but that was a while ago,” according to a police report.
According to police records, Rodriguez, a Melrose Park resident, told the officer that he had last smoked cannabis about an hour before getting pulled over at 9:40 p.m. Rodriguez and a passenger were both slurring their words, had bloodshot eyes and insisted that there was “no more cannabis inside the car,” according to the report.
Once the officer asked Rodriguez to get out of the car, the suspect allegedly changed his story and pinned the distinct odor on a passenger who was no longer in the vehicle.
Rodriguez is scheduled to answer to the DUI charge in court on Oct. 3. He was the department’s only arrest for driving under the influence during a checkpoint conducted in the 8300 block of Roosevelt Road on Sept. 1.
Car reported stolen from garage
On Monday morning it was there, but by the same time Tuesday a tan Toyota Tercell was apparently stolen right out of the garage at 215 Marengo Ave.
The owner of the 1988 two door reported the car stolen on the morning of Sept. 5. The brief police report does not list any possible suspects and there was no sign of forced entry into the garage, according to the report.
The vehicle was entered into the department’s database of stolen cars.
Traffic stop nets ammo, drugs
In plain sight, sitting on the floor of Paul J. Mendlik’s car was a speed loader with six rounds of hollow point bullets. According to police reports, this observation made during a traffic stop on Sept. 3 along the 900 block of Harlem Avenue was enough to tease out the officer’s curiosity.
A computer search revealed Mendlik did not have a valid firearm license and the 43-year-old Hoffman Estates, Ill., resident was arrested.
A K-9 unit was called to the scene to sniff out any other items that might be in the car, and the police dog found eight grams of cocaine, according to police.
Sam, the K-9 officer, found a wadded up piece of tissue paper between the driver’s seat and the center console. In it were two clear plastic bags, each with an off-white powder inside, police records indicate. A field test of the powdery substance came back positive for the illegal substance.
Mendlik is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 26.
Disoriented driver blows .149
An alleged drunk driver was traveling in the opposite direction when he told police that he was headed to his home in the city.
Jesus Aguas, 29, told officers he was traveling to the intersection of Fullerton and Pulaski in Chicago after they stopped him for a variety of traffic offenses shortly after 2 a.m. on Sept. 1. According to the police report, Aguas was speeding southbound along Harlem Avenue where he changed lanes four times without signaling. Aguas made a right onto Roosevelt, again without his turn signal, then pulled a U-turn on Roosevelt to point himself west, according to police.
Standing beside the car, police said they smelled alcohol on the suspect’s breath. Aguas allegedly admitted to drinking three beers.
After failing three field sobriety tests, a breathalyzer revealed his blood-alcohol content to be .149, according to police. A court date is scheduled for Oct. 3.
Checkpoint finds variety of violations
A scheduled safety checkpoint conducted on Roosevelt Road on Sept. 1 netted only one driver who was allegedly under the influence, according to Deputy Chief Tom Aftanas. Police were busy though, enforcing a variety of traffic laws.
According to Aftanas, 27 tickets were issued for seat belt violations, 12 drivers were cited for lack of insurance, four drivers were ticketed for violating child seatbelt laws, three drivers were arrested for driving with an invalid license and three drivers were ticketed for invalid registrations.
“Their main objective is not to make as many DUI arrests as possible, it’s to get people to comply voluntarily,” Aftanas said.
These items were taken from the records of the Forest Park Police Department between September 1 and September 8, 2006, 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 been adjudicated.
Compiled by Josh Adams