Looking for a man believed to have displayed a handgun near 8200 Roosevelt, police followed a dark green Saturn Dec. 28 as it traveled north on Desplaines Avenue and turned onto the Eisenhower Expressway. The vehicle and its driver resembled the description called in to police, and when officers turned on their flashing lights and hit the siren, the driver sped away.

The pursuing officer radioed that the suspect wasn’t stopping, and learned that another Forest Park officer was already on the expressway. That officer was ahead of the chase and managed to coral the fleeing vehicle. Both officers approached the suspect with their guns drawn and took 46-year-old Joseph Newbern, of Chicago, into custody.

Newbern allegedly told police his license was suspended and he was on a work-release program run by the state department of corrections. No gun was found, and Newbern denied any involvement in the alleged threat.

However, because of the wild car chase, Newbern was arrested on felony charges. The incident also violated the conditions of his work-release, according to police.

Alert witness takes action

A woman who recognized that the man removing toolboxes from a white van was not the owner of the vehicle called police Dec. 29 to report what she believed was a burglary. According to a department report, she was right.

Authorities arrived at 227 Desplaines shortly before midnight and spotted their suspect tinkering with the contents of the van. As soon as the officer and the suspected burglar made eye contact, according to the officer’s report, the suspect began walking quickly toward the building.

“I recognized the van I observed the offender in from a previous burglary … to that van,” the officer noted in his report. “I also knew the offender was not the registered owner.”

When the officer confronted the suspect, 43-year-old Marion Tobler, of Broadview, and asked to speak with him, Tobler allegedly began to run from the scene. A brief foot chase ended when police threatened to subdue Tobler with a Taser.

Tobler allegedly told police he was addicted to heroin. He has 12 previous arrests for burglary and theft. He was charged with two felonies and cited for trespassing and damaging the van.

Driver leads highway chase

A green Buick seen racing north along Harlem on Dec. 28 at speeds approaching 70 mph was stopped by a patrolling officer near the junction with Interstate 290. The driver rolled his window down only about half way and kept the car’s stereo playing loudly when the officer approached.

“What,” was the man’s greeting, according to a department report.

Police suspected that he had been smoking marijuana, and could allegedly smell the drug coming from inside the car. The officer asked the driver to step out of the car just as the traffic light changed to green, and the man allegedly sped away, striking the officer’s hand with his car.

The officer raced back to his squad car and pursued the Buick onto the Eisenhower Expressway. The suspect was driving erratically, according to police, and narrowly missed hitting other cars. It was at this time, however, that the officer noticed a small child peering over the back seat at him from the suspect’s car. Because the risks of continuing the chase threatened the safety of the child, the officer ended his pursuit.

Police were able to identify the suspected driver of the car, but no charges were filed at the time of the officer’s initial report.

Medicine came with warning

A Forest Park woman was arrested Dec. 28 on a number of traffic infractions, including a charge that she left the scene of an accident after sideswiping several vehicles on Desplaines Avenue near the intersection with Monroe.

According to a department report, Kathleen D’Agostino, 47, got into a green Nissan at about 4 p.m. clipped a few cars as she headed south. One of the alleged victims attempted to follow D’Agostino, but lost sight of her at an intersection and called police. The caller waited for police to arrive and saw D’Agostino return to the area. Police stopped her vehicle near McDonald’s at the intersection of Madison and Desplaines.

A search of D’Agostino revealed several prescription medications, according to a department report, all of which contained warnings about operating a vehicle while taking them. In addition to the more serious charge, D’Agostino was cited for having an expired license, no insurance and failing to wear her seatbelt.

These items were taken from the records of the Forest Park Police Department between Dec. 27 and Jan. 3, 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.