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After observing a car speeding west along Madison at 12:30 a.m. on May 23, an officer began driving directly behind the vehicle. The car weaved from the curb lane into the center lane, nearly hitting another vehicle. The squad car’s siren was activated and police followed for five more blocks before the car pulled over, according to a report on the incident.

The driver was identified as Leroy Tate, 51, of Broadview. Tate was unable to provide either a license or proof of insurance and he smelled strongly of alcohol, according to police.

The policeman explained to Tate, whose eyes were bloodshot, why he had been pulled over and asked Tate if he had had anything to drink. Tate was slow to reply that he had not. Tate claimed it took so long for him to pull over because he did not see the squad car, according to the report. The driver then allegedly failed three field sobriety tests and was taken to the Forest Park Police Department.

In the police department Tate refused to submit to a breath test maintaining he was not drunk and that he had only had a few small shots.

“As high as gas prices are now, you can have my car,” Tate allegedly told the officers. “I’ll ride a bike.”

Tate was charged with driving under the influence, driving without insurance and making an improper lane change.

Crash leads to charges of false report

On May 21 at 5:30 a.m. Christopher Baumann, 33, filed a police report for an armed robbery and stolen automobile.

At 8:40 a.m. police found Baumann’s car crashed into a light pole in the 400 block of Clinton Place. The doors of the car were locked and the key was still in ignition. Officers reported seeing a blood stain on the driver’s side air bag. The vehicle was towed to the police station where pictures were taken and a blood sample was taken from the stain.

At 10:30 a.m. Baumann, an Oak Park resident, was brought to the police station to identify the car and was informed that they would attempt to recover DNA from the car in hope of identifying the offender.

Baumann allegedly proceeded to admit he had filed a false police report hoping to avoid being charged with driving under the influence. He was charged with making a false police report.

Police suspect gypsies at work

A Forest Park resident was sitting in her kitchen on May 22 when she heard her doorbell ring. She later told police that an unknown male, approximately 40 years old, was standing at her door. She also observed a van parked behind the tree of her parkway.

The man repeatedly asked in a heavy, non-descript accent, “you know me, don’t you?” according to a department report on the incident. The woman explained that she did not know who he was. The man contested that he had worked on her neighbor’s gutters on Ferdinand Avenue. The man reportedly continued to plead with the woman to come outside to the porch, a request she refused.

The woman told him to leave his card in the mailbox, closed her door and called 911. She found no information in her mailbox.

Neighbor scares would-be burglar

At 3 a.m. on May 21 a Forest Park man allegedly arrived home and found an unknown male attempting to break into a house by opening a window through a cut screen. The man who had just come home yelled at the suspected burglar, who then fled, according to a police report on the incident. He chased him from Ferdinand Avenue to Harvard Street but was unable to overcome the suspect’s significant head start.

The police were called to the scene and found a large “X” slashed in the screen and a window sitting open a couple of inches. The owner of the residence was awoken by the officers and informed of what had occurred. No evidence that might lead investigators to the suspect could be found.

Police confiscate cases of beer

Patrolling the 7200 block of Washington Street on May 22, police pulled over a vehicle for failing to signal a right turn. The officer checked the plates and discovered the registered driver to have a suspended license.

Bryan Banzhaf, of Poplar Grove, was arrested for driving on a suspended license and providing a false name. A search of the vehicle revealed that the 20-year-old’s car contained three cases of beer, which resulted in a charge of illegal possession of alcohol.

Alleged panty raid ends with arrest

Billie Rogers, 39, was arrested at 2 p.m. on May 20 after allegedly being seen on security cameras walking out of Wal-Mart with 57 bras and panties. The value of the stolen items was $242.46, according to a police report, and the suspect, a Chicago resident, was charged with retail theft.

Anyone with information regarding the cases mentioned in this report, or on another matter, is encouraged to contact the department’s hotline at (708) 615-6239. Information may be left anonymously.

These items were taken from the records of the Forest Park Police Department between May 19 and May 28, 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 Jacob Boyer