Police are investigating a stabbing on Marengo Avenue that may have occurred at an underage drinking party hosted by a potential mayoral candidate.
According to a police report, Negale Jackson refused to let officers into an apartment at 324 Marengo Ave. shortly before 1 a.m. on Oct. 29. The victim, who had been stabbed in the face with a pocketknife, allegedly told police that underage drinkers were consuming “hard liquor” and smoking marijuana at the party.
In a September letter to the editor published in the Review, Jackson announced his plans to run for mayor of Forest Park.
During a brief phone interview, Jackson denied responsibility for the party. Further, he said no one was stabbed and alcohol was not present.
“There was no stabbing in the first place,” Jackson said. “There was no alcohol down there.”
According to the police report, the stabbing victim told police the owner of the apartment was aware that minors were drinking alcohol. Jackson is identified by police as the owner of the apartment.
“The owner, Negale Jackson along with an elderly female, refused to let us into the house or the basement,” officers said in their report. “The entire time we were there no one mentioned that [victim] had been stabbed in the nose and need [sic] medical attention.”
Deputy Chief Tom Aftanas said his department’s investigation will not be limited to the alleged stabbing, and the host of the party may be charged with providing alcohol to minors. Aftanas said the investigation has not yet determined who actually hosted the event.
Village property records show that Michael Perry owns the apartment building at 324 Marengo Ave., and according to Perry, Jackson does not have a lease for the property. Perry said he was not aware of the alleged incident, nor does he know Jackson.
A mailbox at the front door has Jackson’s last name written on it, along with several others. And Perry said that a tenant on the first floor is often visited by an unidentified “older gentleman.”
Jackson ended the phone interview with the Review before answering questions on his residency. He contacted the newspaper after several notes were left at the address for him.
The ground-floor apartment is not up to code and has not been rented, Perry said, but he recently noticed several signs that someone had used the space. Perry said someone neglected to flush the toilet in that apartment; left several windows slightly open and put a small stereo in the unit.
“It kind of looked like somebody was hanging out,” Perry said.
According to the police report, the stabbing victim was working security at the door of the party, for which a $2 admission was charged. The alleged offender was denied entry and pulled out the knife when he was told to leave, according to the department report.
According to Jackson, the party was held as a fund-raiser for a Proviso East High School athletic program. Jackson did not identify who specifically organized the event.
“The party was sponsored by adults for the basketball team,” Jackson said.
Proviso East Principal Milton Patch said players would of need to raise money for the high school program. Any entry fees related to tournaments would be paid for by the district, and the school bought new uniforms last year, Patch said.
Patch said he was not aware of the alleged incident and has heard no mention of it from community members, students or local police.
“That’s completely false,” Patch said.