In trying to breakup a fight outside the middle school, Principal Karen Bukowski suffered a broken nose and had to be taken to a nearby hospital. Meanwhile, two adults and a juvenile allegedly involved in the altercation were arrested.
According to a department report, police were called to the 900 block of Beloit on Feb. 6 as students were being dismissed. Initially, it appeared some 20 to 30 people were involved in the melee but multiple witness accounts whittled the number of participants significantly. At least seven officers responded to the call.
Christian Diaz, 22, and 19-year-old Rodrigo Carrillo were each arrested on two felony counts of aggravated battery. Both men are from Forest Park and are in-laws, according to police.
A third suspect, a juvenile, was also charged with felony counts of aggravated battery. Because of the suspect’s status as a minor, police did not identify the third individual.
According to an officer’s report on the incident, the skirmish apparently started during school when insults were traded in the hallways between two students. School officials intervened and issued each child a detention that would be served on Monday, Feb. 9. According to police, school officials warned the students to put aside their differences.
However, the feuding children confronted one another on the playground after school. One of the students left the scene, but only to use the telephone at a nearby grocery store to call his older brother.
“Hey, we got problems, get down here,” the boy told police he said to his brother.
Several of the participants and witnesses to the skirmish said that Bukowski grabbed Rodrigo in an attempt to stop the fight, but it was unclear how she was injured. One account suggested that a punch intended for someone else missed its mark and struck Bukowski in the face. However, school Superintendent Lou Cavallo said in an interview with the Review that Bukowski’s nose somehow collided with someone’s skull.
Cavallo declined to comment on any disciplinary measures that may be taken against the students involved in the altercation. As for Bukowski, he said, “she’s fine.”
Broken window leads to charges
Two Tinley Park men were arrested during the early morning hours of Feb. 8 and charged with smashing the window of a Madison Street storefront.
According to police, Matthew Bauer and Mark Bryk, both 21, were seen breaking the window of Team Blonde, 7441 Madison, just before 2 a.m. Authorities spotted the suspects in a nearby alley and Bryk was bleeding from several open wounds to his hand.
A witness told police that the men were kicked out of another property on the street and after walking a short distance began punching the store’s window until it shattered. The address of where the suspects were asked to leave was not released by authorities.
While being processed, Bryk allegedly became combative and repeatedly accused police of abusing him. As an officer attempted to photograph the man’s injuries, Bryk allegedly exposed himself to the officer and spit on the camera. Both men were charged with one count of criminal property damage.
Police nab federal drug suspect
A Texas man wanted by federal authorities in Detroit, Mich., for drug trafficking was arrested in Forest Park this month after a patrol officer became suspicious of the man and his passenger as they drove along 1st Avenue.
According to a department report, Jose Garcia, 48, was driving in a Dodge Ram Feb. 7 shortly after 4 p.m. when Garcia’s passenger immediately turned his face away from the officer who had pulled up alongside the truck. The officer then drove alongside the vehicle, noticing that Garcia “was staring straight ahead and never looked/glanced in my direction.” He curbed the vehicle for having tinted windows.
Garcia handed over a driver’s license indicating he was from McAllen, Texas, an area the officer said is known for drug trafficking. The man’s story was odd, according to police, and he claimed to be in the area to pickup several vehicles and drive them back to Texas. The officer gave him a warning for the tinted windows and asked if he would mind if the vehicle were searched. Garcia reportedly obliged and police found nothing, despite the use of a K-9 unit. The man was sent on his way.
Then, moments after releasing Garcia, notice came back from the U.S. Marshall’s Service that he was wanted for marijuana trafficking and has been arrested numerous times for shuttling drugs and cash across the border with Mexico. Police caught up with Garcia and placed him under arrest.
These items were taken from the records of the Forest Park Police Department between Feb. 1 and Feb. 8, 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