A smattering of needles, crack pipes and empty liquor bottles were among the debris removed from underneath an overpass after police made several attempts to clear a group of homeless men seeking shelter there. One individual, a 43 year old, was arrested on trespassing charges after authorities had already told the man one day earlier not to return, according to a police report.

In the late morning hours of Sept. 11 two officers discovered that five men had established a makeshift camp underneath Harlem Avenue where the street bridges Interstate 290. Because the land is owned by the state, the men were told to collect their belongings and not return, according to a department report. Maintenance crews for the highway were contacted with regard to several mattresses and other miscellaneous items that were left behind.

Shortly before 8:30 a.m. the following day, police arrived back at the overpass to meet the cleanup crew and discovered two men sleeping on the mattresses. One of the men, who had not been previously warned, was told to vacate the property. Authorities recognized the other man from the previous day and arrested him for trespassing.

“Scores of empty liquor and beer bottles”, some 20 hypodermic needles, “several crack pipes, three VCRs, a DVD player and a desktop computer” were all observed in the area, police said in their report. Based on a check of the various serial numbers, none of the electronics had been reported stolen.

BAC nearly twice legal limit

A man pulled over for speeding along Harlem Avenue in the early morning hours of Sept. 16 was ultimately arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. Jarod D. Cooper, 38, of Chicago, had a blood-alcohol level of .153, nearly twice the legal limit, according to a police report.

Along with the DUI charge and speeding, Cooper was cited for driving without insurance and having only one brake light in working order.

According to a department report, Cooper allegedly told the arresting officer he had been at a party. His eyes were bloodshot, he stuttered, his balance was shaky and he failed several field sobriety tests, according to police.

Teen facing felony theft charge

Two teenagers were picked up for shoplifting earlier this month after allegedly stuffing more than 100 items from Wal-Mart’s shelves into two black duffel bags and setting off the store’s alarm system as they attempted to leave the building, according to a police report.

Shenika A. Moore, 17, of Bellwood, is facing a single felony charge for her alleged role in the incident. Also arrested was a 16-year-old girl who was processed as a juvenile. The Forest Park Review has a policy not to print the names of minors charged with a crime.

At about 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 7 a Wal-Mart employee called police to the Desplaines Avenue store after taking the two suspects into custody. When police arrived they found 54 items crammed into Moore’s duffel bag and another 53 items in the bag allegedly carried by the juvenile. Authorities did not state in their report the nature or total value of the merchandise, but the charges stipulate that each is suspected of stealing more than $150 worth of items.

The juvenile girl was processed by authorities and released into the custody of her mother, according to the report.

DUI suspect never had license

A 17-year-old Chicago resident consented to a breathalyzer test to prove to police he wasn’t drunk, according to a department report, but was charged with driving under the influence after registering a .102. The legal limit in Illinois is .08.

Terrance I. Alexander was pulled over by police at 2:30 a.m. on Sept. 10 after police watched him pull a U-turn on Madison Street, proceed at a “high rate of speed” and cross the center line at least a half-dozen times, according to a department report. After stumbling out of his car and failing to produce a valid license or insurance, Alexander allegedly told police that he had been drinking.

“I’m not going to lie to you, I had one margarita,” Alexander allegedly said.

After failing several field sobriety tests, Alexander was taken into custody and transported to the police station where he consented to a blood-alcohol test “to prove to me that he was not drunk,” according to the arresting officer.

In addition to the DUI charge, Alexander was cited for driving without insurance, driving with expired plates, improper lane usage and failing to secure a new registration.

A record check allegedly revealed Alexander had never been issued a drivers’ license by the state.

These items were taken from the records of the Forest Park Police Department between Sept 9 and Sept 16, 2007 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