First reported 6/10/2010 2:11 p.m.
When the Blackhawks game started last Wednesday night, Forest Park police began towing cars from the bar-clustered blocks of Madison Street to safeguard against damage from partiers if the home team won the Stanley Cup.
“We knew everyone was gonna pile out into the street,” said Forest Park Deputy Police Tom Aftanas, referring to watch parties for what ended up being a headline-making game that the Blackhawks won in overtime.
“Somebody was gonna break a window or bust an antenna,” Aftanas said of the concerns that prompted a parking ban from 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 9, to 1 a.m. Thursday morning.
About a dozen cars were towed, according to Aftanas.
He said his department had posted signs on Madison between Harlem and DesPlaines avenues warning of the parking restriction and that officers had called bars and restaurants on that stretch of Madison asking that announcements be made to warn patrons about the parking ban.
Aftanas said his officers were instructed to give car owners a small grace period, though he wasn’t specific about how long, before ordering vehicles towed.
At the minimum, parking in the wrong spot on Madison last Wednesday night cost $190. For violating the village parking ban, vehicle owners faced a $30 fine. To get their car back, they face a towing fee of $160 ($95 for administration and $35 for a day of storage). Each additional day of storage would have cost $30 a day.
All of the vehicles towed during the final Stanley Cup game were claimed within a matter of hours, an employee of H&R Towing told the Review.
“I got here at 7 a.m. and all the cars were gone,” he said, referring to Thursday morning. “Usually they come from the bars and they want to get their cars right away.”
While all the cars that were towed are off of H&R’s lot, it’s not yet known if all of the traffic violations have been paid, according to the police department’s parking division.
According to police reports, there were only two incidents on the night of the Blackhawks victory, and neither involved property damage. The two incidents were listed as minor fights that police ended by arresting those involved.