Every on-duty officer in Forest Park, and several others from Oak Park, River Forest and the county sheriff’s department, responded to a large and allegedly unruly gathering on the 100 block of Marengo just before midnight on March 5. No fewer than 11 phone calls complaining of noise and rowdy behavior at the party were received by the department, according to the police, but of the estimated 50 people who had gathered for a birthday party, only two were taken into custody.

When authorities arrived at 109 and 113 Marengo, they found dozens of people milling about the sidewalk and in the street. Several people appeared to be gesturing and shouting “as if a fight had just occurred,” and there were at least five cars blocking traffic and blaring loud music, according to police.

One juvenile was arrested because he refused to leave the area as instructed. He was released to his mother and charged with mob action.

Another suspect, 36-year-old Roosevelt McNeil, told police that the gathering was for his son’s birthday, and claimed that he lived at the address. McNeil’s driver’s license, however, stated that he lived in Springfield. When an officer pointed this out, McNeil allegedly grabbed his license back from the officer and shoved him. Following a brief struggle, he was arrested for battery and resisting arrest.

The owner of the home, 39-year-old Lashana Davis, was cited for disorderly conduct.

Open mouth, insert citation

Police were called to Skrine Chops, 7230 Madison, during the early morning hours of March 7 when several patrons in the bar began fighting, according to a department report.

Michael Smuda, a 23-year-old Elmwood Park resident, reportedly continued his aggressive behavior while standing on the sidewalk outside of the bar, and police said in their report they heard him threaten to kill someone. Smuda was again told to leave the area, but allegedly began yelling racial slurs. He was arrested for disorderly conduct and taken to the police station in order to separate him from the situation, and to receive his citation.

Suspect says he’s out of work

A man who told police he’s an out-of-work accountant was arrested and charged with a felony March 5 for allegedly stealing more than $150 worth of food from a grocery store on Roosevelt Road.

According to a department report, Kevin Santry, 49, of Forest Park, put 54 different food items into a shopping cart while at Ultra Foods, and then tried to leave the store without paying for the items. Once in police custody, Santry allegedly told investigators he had been laid off when the economy soured and is now forced to steal food to feed himself.

Suspect says he’s just hungry

A Green Line train was temporarily delayed March 5 while police and an employee from the nearby CVS on Circle Avenue searched each car for a man suspected of stealing several bottles of body wash. The suspect, 42-year-old Lawrence Johnson, of Harvey, was taken into custody and allegedly told police that he did steal the items.

According to a department report, Johnson has several prior convictions for theft, and so was charged with a felony.

“Lawrence said he steals items and sells them to a store in the area of Madison and Austin,” police noted in their report. “Lawrence said he does this to get money for food.”

Posing as a firefighter

The manager of a grocery store was skeptical when he learned that a representative of the Forest Park Fire Department had contacted his company’s corporate offices and secured a donation in the amount of $500. After being contacted by the alleged firefighter, the manager contacted the chief of the department, Steve Glinke, to verify the fundraising effort.

Glinke, however, said his office does not solicit donations in this manner and he agreed to help identify whether the man on the phone was in fact a firefighter.

On March 4, just before 10 a.m., Glinke and the manager of Ultra Foods, on Roosevelt Road, met with 54-year-old Michael Boyd who had arrived to collect his check. The manager handed over the money, Boyd gave him a receipt and Glinke said the suspect is not one of his employees. Police swooped in and took Boyd into custody for fraud.

These items were taken from the records of the Forest Park Police Department between February 27 and March 7, 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.