Three individuals were allegedly involved in a burglary on the 100 block of Marengo Avenue late April 4.

Police responded to the reported incident and saw George Huff, 21, of Chicago, seated in a dated green Toyota parked in the alley behind Marengo. When an officer walked towards the car he saw Reginald Russell, 19, of Cicero, emerge from a residential gangway near the alley carrying a TV.

Russell informed police that the set belonged to him and that he was moving from his mother’s home. He was subsequently asked to confirm that the house from which he came was in fact his mother’s. Russell agreed to accompany an officer back to the residence, and even called out for his mother; however, when no one replied he attempted to flee the scene.

The officer then tried to restrain Russell, and although he initially broke free, Russell was immediately tackled and held down until two more officers arrived to offer assistance. Russell reportedly continued to struggle with three police officers, refusing to “lay down and put his arms out.” The 150-lb. offender was subsequently Tasered on his bareback (he lost his sweatshirt in the scuffle) and was then arrested.

Police then entered the home, which was ransacked, and observed a forced entry in the back of the house and a broken screen door in the front.

Russell, Huff and a juvenile were taken into custody and Huff and Russell admitted to plotting the burglary, while the juvenile denied any involvement. Russell and Huff were charged with residential burglary.

Bad driving of every type

A 26-year-old Chicago man received a slew of felony charges after being pulled over near the intersection of 13th Street and Harlem Avenue on the afternoon of April 2 for traffic and vehicular violations. Juan Morales was initially stopped when his registration, which was also expired, did not match his car. When an officer approached Morales’ red Mercury Mountaineer, he reported seeing two open cans of Budweiser in the center console. Morales was subsequently arrested. His record revealed that he has a revoked driver’s license and an active no bond warrant out of Will County for not appearing in court after being charged with driving with a revoked license. Furthermore, the revocation occurred because of a DUI and prior convictions for driving with a revoked license. He received another charge for the offense along with multiple counts of transportation of alcohol, operating an uninsured vehicle, seat belt violations, improper use of registration, expired registration and several moving violations.

Phillip Howard, a 26-year-old Forest Park resident, led police on a high-speed chase and caused a six-vehicle crash at the Austin Boulevard and I-290 intersection early April 4.

Howard’s black GMC Savanna van was first spotted traveling over the speed limit on Harvard Street near Lathrop Avenue. The pursuing officer reportedly recalled a recent incident in which Howard’s van – identified according to the make and its temporary license plates – was allegedly involved in the burglary of a radio from a car parked on the 1000 block of DesPlaines Avenue. Moreover, the officer also received a radio call stating Howard’s van had reportedly just struck his ex-girlfriend’s vehicle at the same location.

At this point the decision was made to curb Howard. However, he refused to yield and attempted to evade police. After a series of sporadic turns, Howard reached I-290 from Harlem Avenue and headed east, supposedly traveling at 93 mph.

Howard then attempted to exit at Austin, where a number of cars were halted at a traffic light. Rather than stopping, he continued to flee, sideswiping one car and causing the above mentioned accident. Howard then exited his vehicle and began to run toward Columbus Park, where he was finally stopped after a police officer activated an Electronic Control Device (stun gun.) When he was taken into custody, Howard stated that he had refused to stop because he was uncertain as to how police would react.

Howard has no license and did admit to being involved in a crash with his girlfriend, but claimed she initiated it. He also stated that he possessed a receipt for the radio that was reported stolen that would prove it was his. Nonetheless, Howard received a felony for aggravated fleeing and eluding a police officer. He was also charged with leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, fleeing and eluding a police officer, reckless driving, no valid driver’s license, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, speeding, improper lane usage, improper turn, disobeying a stop sign, and no brake lights.

Two Oak Parkers were stopped early April 4 on the 1100 block of Elgin Avenue – a southbound only street – after being observed heading north. When Forest Park police approached the car and informed driver James Lauderdale, 38, of his infraction, they noticed a plastic cup that contained a red-colored cocktail. What’s more, the passenger, 38-year-old Keith Hinkle, attempted to hide a 22-oz. bottle of Bud Ice by placing it on the floor and squeezing it between his feet. Lauderdale and Hinkle were then ordered out of the car. A name check proved Lauderdale was driving on an expired license. Consequently he was arrested. Lauderdale was charged with driving on an expired license, transportation of an alcoholic beverage, and improper lane usage. Hinkle was given a citation for transportation of an alcoholic beverage, and left the scene on foot.

Retail theft

Maria Mercado, 35, of North Riverside was arrested and charged with retail theft on the evening of April 2 for attempting to steal $171 worth of cosmetics from the DesPlaines Avenue Walmart. Mercado was apprehended by the store’s security force after she was captured on camera stuffing cosmetics into her purse and then attempting to leave the store. At the police station she informed officers that this was the first time she attempted to steal and claimed to be uncertain as to why she tried to do so. She received a misdemeanor charge.

These items were taken from the records of the Forest Park Police Department between March 28 and April 4, 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 Nicholas Moroni

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.