The driver of a pickup truck that careened off Desplaines Avenue and into a cemetery early March 16 died as a result of the accident, according to police.

Robert Hall, a 36-year-old Aurora resident, was driving north at 4:30 a.m. when he allegedly lost control of the truck, crossed the southbound lane and crashed through a chain-link fence. The vehicle then smashed through several headstones before coming to a stop on its side. Alcohol and excessive speed were likely factors in the crash, according to Deputy Chief Tom Aftanas.

“The officer and the paramedic could smell it on the victim,” Aftanas said.

Because the accident resulted in a death, Cook County sheriffs were called in to investigate. That department is handling the reconstruction, said Aftanas, and it is not yet known how fast Hall may have been driving.

Authorities said they weren’t certain of what Hall was doing in the area, but believe he was leaving a bar in North Riverside. He did not have any passengers in the truck with him, nor were any other vehicles struck, Aftanas said.

Hall’s truck left the road in the 1800 block of Desplaines Avenue near Roosevelt Road and came to a stop in Waldheim Cemetery.

Handgun leads to felony charge

Police recovered a loaded .32 caliber pistol from a Forest Park man who had drawn attention to himself by sitting in his parked car, drinking alcohol and playing loud music, according to a department report.

At about 7:30 p.m. March 9, police responded to the 1000 block of Desplaines Avenue for a report of a suspicious car playing loud music. When officers arrived, they found 49-year-old Allan Spitznagel sitting in the driver’s seat and a woman sitting next to him. Police asked what the two were doing, and Spitznagel reportedly said he was “just drinking wine and listening to a tape” with his girlfriend.

Police saw an open beer bottle on the floor of the car, and Spitznagel allegedly said the wine he was drinking was in his thermos. Meanwhile, the man reportedly made several furtive movements toward his pants pocket.

Asking Spitznagel to stand outside the car, police patted him down and allegedly found the gun in his pants pocket. The woman with Spitznagel said she did not know he had a gun with him. She reportedly said the gun was hers and that Spitznagel did not have permission to carry it.

Spitznagel was charged with felony aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. The gun was confiscated, as were the five bullets in the magazine.

GPA doesn’t cure drunkenness

A 21-year-old student from Union Grove, Wis., was cited for drunk and disorderly conduct March 14. The student allegedly tried using his grades to persuade the officer not to issue a ticket.

According to a department report, Michael Cayemberg was tugging on the door handle of a car parked in the 7400 block of Washington shortly before midnight. It wasn’t his car and the woman and her grandson inside did not appreciate it, according to the report.

When police arrived, Cayemberg allegedly said he was trying to make his way to River Forest when he saw “three hands slapping at the window.” Believing that children were trapped in the car, he was trying to “set them free,” according to police.

“Cayemberg also asked me, would his GPA make a difference because he got a high C grade,” the officer noted.

Prowler chased from home

Several homes were reported burglarized recently, and one man told police he frightened a would-be prowler when he heard someone prying open his front door.

Shortly before 1:30 p.m. March 13, a resident of 7233 Randolph was home watching television when he heard noises at the front door, according to a department report. In the front room of his home was a man armed with a crowbar. The suspect fled when he saw the resident, and the man gave chase for a few moments, but lost sight of the prowler.

On March 11, police were twice called to 148 Circle to take reports of various items having been stolen from condo dwellers. In one of the homes, a laptop computer was reported missing, but a second victim reported her .25 caliber handgun was missing, along with a digital camera, a video game console and two video cameras.

On March 14, authorities took a report from a resident at 228 Desplaines Ave. who said her 32-inch LCD television set had been stolen, along with several pieces of jewelry valued at more than $1,000 in total.

These items were taken from the records of the Forest Park Police Department between March 8 and March 16, 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

Tip hotline

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