A West Chicago man is facing a felony drug charge after police discovered the suspect allegedly snorting heroin in the parking lot of a Harlem Avenue gas station. Nicholas Platania, 23, told police he had purchased the substance in Chicago before driving to Forest Park. Nine packets of the drug weighing roughly 4 grams were found in Platania’s truck, according to police.

The arrest was made shortly before 7 p.m. on Nov. 8 when police saw Platania’s Dodge Ram parked at 949 Harlem Ave. When the arresting officer shined his flashlight into the truck, Platania allegedly tossed a rolled up dollar bill onto the seat. Platania and a passenger in the truck, who was not charged, were both behaving nervously, police said in their report and a search of the vehicle was conducted.

Inside of a cigarette box were nine foil packages of heroin, according to police. Platania allegedly admitted owning the drugs and said he drove to Forest Park to meet his passenger, who has been using the substance for roughly five months, according to police.

Alleged thief takes electronics

A Madison Street apartment was burglarized Nov. 5 and the victim in the case reported two computers, a flat screen television, a suitcase and several items of clothing as missing, according to a police report.

Sometime between 7:20 a.m. and 6:20 p.m. the items were allegedly taken from the 7509 Madison St. address. The alleged victim said he came home and found the lights on as well as a footprint on the door. A duffle bag was lying on the couch.

Fingerprints were recovered from the scene. Police also noticed that pieces of newspaper were used to cover the peep holes of the apartments across the hall.

Fleeing motorist cornered

A motorist accused of leaving the scene of an accident was caught by police Nov. 7 after the other driver in the collision reportedly chased the offender down and cornered him in the parking lot of the Rush Oak Park Hospital.

The accident occurred just before 7 p.m. at the junction of Harlem and Madison streets, according to a police report, and Santiago Mondragon, 30, took off in his Dodge van. The other motorist gave chase and police were called to the scene once the two drivers had stopped in the hospital’s parking lot.

Mondragon was charged with driving without a valid license, leaving the scene of an accident and passing in a no passing zone. Police also discovered Mondragon, an Addison resident, was wanted on two outstanding warrants in DuPage County for driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license.

Teen says he did not steal

David J. Austgen, of Cicero, was cited for violating a local ordinance Nov. 6 after a Kmart employee allegedly watched the 19 year old attempt to steal two screwdrivers and a box of Hostess HoHos. The value of the items was slightly more than $14, according to a police report. Austgen allegedly denied attempting to steal the items and told authorities “he was just borrowing” them.

Suspects nabbed on warrants

Several outstanding arrest warrants were executed recently, including the apprehension of 27-year-old Wilfredo Candelaria, of Chicago. Candelaria, who also goes by the name Armando Rodriguez and the “Spanish Cobra,” was taken into custody by Oak Park police on a drug possession warrant issued in Forest Park. Candelaria was arrested Nov. 5.

Also on Nov. 5, local authorities picked up Rashaun Fumbanks, of Broadview, on a warrant out of Kane County for forgery. Fumbanks, 29, was stopped for obstructing traffic and having tinted windows, according to a department report.

On Nov. 8, a woman who was allegedly placing fliers on car windshields outside of the Forest Park National Bank on Madison Street was apprehended by police after a witness observed the woman trying to gain entry to the cars. Lisa M. Sims, 27, denied the accusation when confronted by police. A records check, however, revealed the Chicago resident was wanted on a warrant out of Louisville, Ky., for violating the terms of her probation.

A Bolingbrook man was also arrested Nov. 8 on a warrant out of DuPage County for failing to appear in court for a traffic violation. Wendell Phillips, 37, was taken into custody after police ran a check of the man’s license plate.

These items were taken from the records of the Forest Park Police Department between Nov. 5 and Nov. 9, 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