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The headless body of a goat believed to have been used in a religious ceremony was discovered in the Woodlawn Cemetery late last month.

Investigators were called to the cemetery shortly before noon on Sept. 30 when a caretaker of the property found the dead animal. The goat’s feet were bound with a synthetic twine and a number of pennies were on the ground near the body, according to a police report.

The cemetery worker buried the decapitated animal in the rear of the cemetery and told police that the incident isn’t entirely uncommon. Beheaded chickens and roosters are often left in the graveyard, along with dolls stuck with pins, the worker reportedly told police. This is however, the first goat the worker had come across.

Authorities noted the lack of blood surrounding the spot where the animal was found indicates it was likely killed elsewhere. A search of the area did not turn up the animal’s head.

In their police report, authorities list followers of the Santeria faith as the likely culprit. According to religioustolerance.org, the religion dates back to the slave trade when Yoruba natives were forcibly removed from Africa and the Caribbean. Santeria, or Lukumi, was practiced under the guise of Catholicism by the slaves to satisfy the traders who wished to convert them. Animal sacrifices are a part of the faith’s traditions.

Wal-Mart theft ends with Taser

A woman accused of stealing a 20-inch LCD flat screen television was subdued with a Taser after refusing to comply with an officer’s request, according to police reports.

Vesta Willis-Nichols, a 43-year-old woman from Chicago was allegedly caught by security personnel at the Wal-Mart on Desplaines Avenue trying to heist the luxury appliance. The woman failed to produce a receipt for the device and police were called to assist, according to the report. Upon being told by an officer that she was under arrest, Willis-Nichols allegedly refused to stand up from her chair and pleaded that she would rather pay for the television than go to prison.

“I asked her two more times to stand up so I could cuff her,” the officer said in their report. “Because she refused to comply I applied the Taser X26 by drive-stunning her in the back between her shoulder blades. I forced Willis-Nichols to the floor and she complied by placing both hands behind her back.”

After waiving her Miranda rights, Willis-Nichols allegedly told police she intended to sell the $347 appliance. The suspect said she lost her job after being charged with driving under the influence and a drug-related offense.

Drugs found in traffic stop

A driver who apparently failed to use his blinker is now facing drug related charges after police discovered a small amount of heroin in the man’s pocket.

Alvin L. Gray, 48, of Chicago, was pulled over at about 6 p.m. on Oct. 5 for making two illegal turns, according to a police report. Gray failed to use his turn signal while he was being tailed by an officer. Police discovered the man was driving without a valid license and without insurance, according to the report.

While placing Gray under arrest, the officer noticed the suspect appeared nervous and reached for his right pocket. According to authorities, Gray was hiding a piece of tinfoil in his pocket that contained heroin.

“Gray was read his Miranda rights and it was at that time he stated that it was in fact heroin, and that he uses approximately a dime bag a day which he buys from the West Side (of Chicago),” police said in their report.

In addition to the drug possession charge, Gray is facing three traffic citations.

Cab fare dispute leads to arrest

An expensive cab ride became even pricier when the passenger apparently refused to pay the fare, and then damaged the cab driver’s equipment.

Brian D. Elliott, 29, of Lake Forest, Ill., was picked up from a bar in Barrington, Ill., on Oct. 1 and asked to be taken into Chicago, according to a police report. The cab driver and his passenger allegedly agreed that $60 would be paid up front and then any amount exceeding $100 would be negotiated. Elliott, however, disconnected a cable attached to the meter once the fare reached $117, according to police.

The cab driver called police who discovered an outstanding warrant for Elliott’s arrest. Further, he refused to pay the remaining $57 in cab fare and was charged with theft of service.

These items were taken from the records of the Forest Park Police Department between September 30 and October 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 Adam