After watching Rueben Ramos weave across several lanes of traffic, then drive his car partially onto the sidewalk, a police officer pulled him over in the 7500 block of Roosevelt at about 3 a.m. on Valentine’s Day. When the officer got to the driver’s window, according to a department report, he watched as Ramos appeared to be struggling to buckle his seatbelt. Problem was, Ramos was allegedly trying to put the safety belt through the bottom half of his steering wheel.

“After knocking (on the car window) repeatedly, Ramos finally turned his head in my direction and I told him to roll down the window,” police said in their report. “… I then asked Ramos what he was doing with the seatbelt and Ramos replied in a slurred speech, ‘put seatbelt on.'”

The officer allegedly picked up on the smell of alcohol coming from Ramos and had him perform several sobriety tests, which the man failed. With Ramos in custody, the officer headed to the police station to process him for drunken driving charges only to learn that Ramos’ license was already suspended for a DUI that had allegedly occurred the previous day in Roselle.

A blood-alcohol level was not reported by police because Ramos allegedly struggled to breathe into the Breathalyzer. He was charged with a felony, aggravated DUI, as well as several traffic violations.

Lots and lots of sugar

Three Chicago residents were arrested and charged in connection with an alleged shoplifting incident at CVS, 7216 Circle, on Feb. 10. According to a department report, the trio stole 23 packs of gum from the store. However, when authorities searched the car the suspects were traveling in, they allegedly found several trash bags packed with candy and gum.

In one of the bags, police allegedly found the 23 packs taken from CVS. In the other, according to a department report, were 124 packs of gum, four packages of Kool-Aid and two boxes of candy bars. Those items were not believed to be stolen from the Forest Park pharmacy, but they were seized as evidence.

Audrey Brown, 34, faced additional charges in the incident for allegedly giving police a fake name and birth date. She was also taken into custody on an outstanding warrant issued by the county sheriff. And, because Brown has 12 prior convictions for retail theft, according to police, the shoplifting charge against her was upgraded to a felony.

Also charged were 27-year-old Shamada Simmons and 52-year-old Lonzo Spearman.

Syringe loaded with heroin

A man and a woman traveling together in a beige Kia sedan on Feb. 13 were arrested on drug-related charges after police allegedly spotted them behaving suspiciously at a gas station in the 900 block of Harlem. When the officer followed the duo out of the parking lot, the driver of the Kia, Kathleen Ely, allegedly made several improper lane changes while the passenger, Steve Karpinski, tossed several items out of the car.

With the vehicle stopped, police asked Karpinski, a 34-year-old Naperville resident, what it was he had thrown. The man allegedly responded that it was a cigarette, but police said they doubted his story. Ely allegedly admitted that her passenger had tossed an empty bag of heroin; the drug was injected while sitting at the gas station.

Inside the vehicle, authorities allegedly found two syringes, one uncapped and loaded with a “bloody liquid substance” believed to be more heroin. Two pills of Suboxone, a prescription medication similar to methadone, were also found. Karpinski was charged with three counts of drug possession.

Ely, a 38-year-old Sugar Grove resident, was cited for two traffic violations.

More than 90 arrests

A man arrested for trespassing at the Chicago Transit Authority terminal on Desplaines Avenue has been taken into custody by police more than 90 times, according to a department report. Aqtron Plowder, 39, was also charged with resisting arrest and battery for allegedly kicking one of the officers who took him into custody on Feb. 12.

Plowder was allegedly asked by a transit worker to leave the train station at about 1:45 a.m., but refused. When police arrived, Plowder was offered a ride in lieu of being arrested, but the man allegedly responded with hostility. When officers tried to handcuff him and take him into custody, Plowder resisted and then kicked one of the officers in the leg.

These items were taken from the records of the Forest Park Police Department between Feb. 7 and Feb. 14, 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.