A woman arrested for carrying several needles and 14 grams of heroin in her purse allegedly told police that her addiction was beginning to overtake her life and that she needed to get help.

Michelle Djus, 28, of McHenry, was taken into custody Jan. 18 after she emerged from the bathroom of a gas station at 601 Harlem. Police had been speaking with the driver of a parked car because they were suspicious that the man appeared to be slumped over the steering wheel. The driver, who was texting, was not arrested but became visibly nervous when police said they were concerned with the amount of drug activity in the area, according to a department report.

It was during this conversation that Djus returned from the restroom and, upon seeing the police, immediately tried to turn around. Police asked her to come speak with them, and she did.

Djus allegedly made several attempts to keep officers from her purse. A search of the bag, however, revealed 38 small packages of heroin, syringes and a burnt spoon, according to authorities. Once in custody, Djus allegedly told police she typically bought drugs from one of several dealers in the metro area, and typically bought 26 to 104 small packages at a time.

Glock seized from suspect

A 45-year-old Calumet City resident was arrested on weapons charges during the early morning hours of Jan. 19, and allegedly told police he was carrying a loaded handgun because his stepson was a gang member.

Shortly before 4 a.m., a patrolling officer noticed a white SUV parked outside of a fast food restaurant on Roosevelt that closes at 1 a.m. Suspicious of why the car might be there, the officer pulled into the lot, which prompted the driver of the SUV to quickly accelerate and head in the direction of the bulk mail facility at 7500 Roosevelt, according to a department report. Police caught up to the SUV near the postal facility and ordered the driver, Craig Lartigue, out of the car. Lartigue allegedly told police he was waiting for his wife to get off work.

Police did a background check and found he had a valid driver’s license and a firearms license. Lartigue allegedly told police that his three guns were at home and he had no weapons in the car. A search of the vehicle, however, turned up a loaded 10 mm handgun and a second magazine loaded with more ammunition. Once in custody, Lartigue allegedly said the gun was for protection because of his stepson’s gang activity.

He was charged with unlawful use of a weapon and driving with a suspended registration.

Intoxicated and kicking

Police were called to the 100 block of Elgin the morning of Jan. 19 for a report of a man who was apparently trying to kick in the rear door of a home. When they arrived, 45-year-old John Carey, of Maywood, emerged from the rear entryway of the home. Carey was “intoxicated and did not know where he was,” according to police.

The homeowners told police they were sleeping when they were woken up by the loud banging at about 1 a.m., and that they did not know Carey. He was taken into custody for disorderly conduct and given a March court date.

Suspect: I only held the bags

Three women, each 21 years old and each from Chicago, downplayed to police their alleged roles in a shoplifting incident at Wal-Mart on Jan. 23 that netted almost $300 worth of merchandise. All three suspects were charged with a felony.

Police were called to the store on Roosevelt at about 4:30 p.m. after a security officer there had allegedly watched the women try and steal a cart full of items. The merchandise was placed into Wal-Mart shopping bags and wheeled past the registers, according to police.

One woman, Shawn Chambers, claimed that she only held the bags open while Sada Steverson and Casmere White, actually placed the items into the bags. Steverson reportedly told police she put the items into the cart but never actually left the store.

Petal pushers

A mother and her adult son were warned to stop selling flowers to tavern patrons on Madison after police received a call that the duo was hassling customers at O’Sullivan’s on Jan. 22.

According to a department report, police found 25-year-old Nick Johnson sitting in a blue station wagon at the intersection of Madison and Circle just before midnight. In the backseat were boxes of flowers. Johnson’s mother was at a nearby bar when the officer began questioning Johnson. Though no charges were filed related to the selling of flowers, Johnson was taken into custody for having a suspended license, improper registration and an uninsured car.

These items were taken from the records of the Forest Park Police Department between Jan. 17 and Jan. 24, 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