Faced with an uncooperative victim, Forest Park police have closed their investigation of a recent stabbing at 324 Marengo Ave. that may have occurred at an underage drinking party hosted by a likely mayoral candidate.
Det. Scott Frey said Monday that efforts to speak with witnesses in the case have not been fruitful, including political hopeful Negale Jackson. According to Frey, Jackson declined to be interviewed without a lawyer.
Jackson, who met police at the door when they responded to a disturbance call and discovered the stabbing, announced his plans to run for mayor in a September letter to the Review. According to a police report on the Oct. 29 incident, Jackson refused to allow authorities into the apartment.
The alleged victim in the case reportedly told police the host of the party knew that minors were consuming hard liquor and smoking marijuana.
Frey said he has asked Jackson to talk about the party where the incident occurred, but no such discussion has taken place. According to Frey, Jackson said he would not talk to police without a lawyer, and as far as authorities can tell he has not obtained legal representation.
Frey also said the victim of the stabbing, a 19-year-old from Bellwood, is not cooperating and that another possible witness has also been unwilling to talk.
“Based on the fact that the victim is not cooperating and a named witness is not cooperating, I closed the case,” Frey said.
Jackson was not a suspect in the stabbing, Frey said, but police wanted to talk to him about the underage drinking and drug use that allegedly occurred.
The party was held on the night of Oct. 28 and lasted through the early morning hours. According to a police report, the victim stated he was working security at the party, charging a $2 entry fee and checking people for weapons at the door. When the victim tried to stop someone who refused to pay the entry fee, that person stabbed the victim in the nose.
The Bellwood teen suffered a puncture wound and broken facial bone, according to the police report, and was taken to Loyola Hospital in Maywood.
When police arrived on the scene Jackson would not allow them entry into the apartment, according to the police report. The police narrative also states that officers were at the address for a “rowdy complaint” roughly one hour prior to discovering the stabbing.
The two-story stucco home is owned by Michael Perry, who rents the property to two tenants. Jackson does not have a lease, Perry said.
The basement apartment is unoccupied because it is not up to code, Perry said. However, the police report states that blood was found on the stairs to that unit, and in a prior interview Perry said he observed several signs that someone appeared to be “hanging out” in the unoccupied apartment.
The first floor apartment is leased to a woman, and police believe that Jackson also lives at or spends a lot of time at the first floor apartment. A sticker with the name Jackson is one of four names on the mailbox at the front door.
During a brief phone interview with Jackson earlier this month, he denied that the stabbing ever happened and said no one at the event was drinking. Further, Jackson said the party was hosted by adults affiliated with the Proviso East High School basketball team as a fund-raising event.
“There was no stabbing in the first place,” Jackson told the Review earlier this month. “There was no alcohol down there.”
Proviso East officials have denied any knowledge of the party, the stabbing and Jackson’s allegation that the incident was connected to the school’s basketball team.
Attempts to reach Jackson for this story were unsuccessful.