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While patrolling near 601 Harlem Ave. on May 31, a Forest Park police officer, who later called in agents from Chicago’s Secret Service office, observed a white Chevrolet parked at a gas station where drug arrests are often made. After noticing the police cruiser, the driver of the Chevrolet became noticeably uneasy before driving off.

Shortly before 4 p.m. the officer noticed the same car parked at a gas pump at the station. The policeman went into the store to observe the car without being seen by the driver. A black Infiniti then arrived and the driver of the Infiniti, who was later identified as Raymond Scott, 35, walked to the man in the Chevrolet and handed him a credit card, which was used to purchase gas, according to police.

The officer then approached Scott, told him he was performing an investigation, and asked for identification. Scott handed over a driver’s license, which was suspended. The officer then allegedly smelled marijuana an asked to perform a search of the car, to which Scott replied that the car belonged to his girlfriend.

A drug-sniffing dog was called to the gas station and authorities allegedly uncovered seven grams of marijuana, a half-full bottle of champagne, $3,198 in cash, 61 gift cards, six credits cards, a laptop in the trunk, and a credit card scanning device. Scott said he had won the money at a casino, but had no receipts to substantiate his claims, according to police.

Secret Service agents were called and determined that the circumstances were suspicious, and that the agency will investigate. It was unclear from the police department’s report exactly what the federal agency would be looking into.

Suspect gets bombed at baptism

At 7:49 p.m. on June 1 officers arrived at 921 Harlem Ave. after receiving several reports that a car had struck a house. Patricia Ortiz, 36, and her two children were standing outside the car, and a nearby light pole and speed limit sign were lying on the ground, according to authorities. Ortiz allegedly said she was the driver of the car.

Ortiz, a Berwyn resident, originally refused to speak the police, but agreed at the urging of one of her children. She explained that while she was driving, a white car came at her and forced her to swerve off the road. Several witnesses to the accident reported to police that Ortiz’s Nissan Maxima became airborne and flipped into the house.

Because paramedics had been called to the scene to treat Ortiz, officers could not conduct sobriety tests, officers said in their report.

In the ambulance, Ortiz denied having had anything to drink, but after one of the children looked at her and said “mom,” she allegedly admitted to having had three beers at a baptism ceremony. Several times afterward Ortiz changed the number of drinks she told authorities she had consumed.

A blood-alcohol test taken at the hospital revealed Ortiz’s BAC to be .192, which is above the legal limit of .08 for motorists. Ortiz was charged with driving under the influence, two counts of endangering the life of a child, failure to reduce her speed to avoid the accident and two counts of damage to public property.

Temporary custody of the children was given to Oritz’s sister, with Ortiz’s permission.

Loiterer charged with battery

Thomas Kragie, 52, was walking north in an alleyway between Beloit and Ferdinand streets at 6:40 p.m. on June 7, after having earlier been discovered sleeping in the hallway of 1140 Ferdinand Ave.

The officer arrived and proceeded to ask Kragie if he needed assistance, to which Kragie allegedly replied with expletives. The policeman then asked Kragie to remove his hands from his pockets; Kragie once again shouted expletives at the officer, according to a department report.

Afraid that the man may have been concealing a weapon, the officer reached to pull Kragie’s hands out of his pockets, but Kragie slapped his hands away and assumed a fighting stance, and threatened the policeman.

A physical altercation between the officer and the man ensued, which took both men to the ground. Kragie finally submitted and was taken to a Forest Park holding cell. Because of his seemingly intoxicated condition and the fact that he had defecated on himself, Kragie was taken to the Oak Park hospital. He was charged with battering a police officer, aggravated assault and resisting arrest.

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 31 and June 7, 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