On July 22, police arrested two child sex offenders who failed to comply with the state’s mandated annual re-registration process.
Vernon Lewis, 47, of Maywood, was initially arrested for having an in-state warrant and for driving offenses. He was stopped on the 700 block of Des Plaines Avenue. When he was brought to headquarters, police became aware that he was a sex offender.
An officer found Andre Hall, 52, sleeping on a bus bench at 1 Harlem Ave. and, after entering his name in a computer search, learned that Hall was also overdue on his annual registration.
In 1998, Lewis was convicted of two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault: one victim was younger than 13, another was between the ages of 13 and 18.
Hall was found guilty of two counts of criminal sexual assault, although the Illinois State Police Sex Offender database does not provide the year of the conviction. Hall’s victim was also younger than 18.
According to Tracie Newton, supervisor of the Illinois State Police sex-offender registration unit, “Hall has been non-compliant for some time: since August of 2002.” Lewis, whose status reads “location unknown,” failed to inform local authorities after he moved.
In addition to violating the sex offender registration process – which requires offenders to re-register with local law enforcement annually; or, every 90 days, for registration violations or more violent offenses – Lewis was charged with traffic sign violations, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, driving with a suspended license, and for the in-state warrant, which was issued for his failure to make child support payments.
Lewis did not receive felony charges because of a record of procedural compliance. Hall, on the other hand, received one felony count of sex offender registration violation.
Forest Park police allowed Lewis to temporarily re-register, but his status expired on Sunday.
Calls to police headquarters about the matter were not returned.
As of Monday, both Lewis and Hall were being held at Cook County Jail. Lewis’s bail was set at $4,900 and he has a Sept. 21 court date at the Daley Center in Chicago. Hall’s bail is $15,000; he was to appear before a judge on July 27, at the Cook County 4th District Court House in Maywood.
If convicted, Hall and Lewis will have to re-register every 90 days.
Man in stolen car tries to skirt cops
A 42-year-old Chicago man was arrested after, according to a police report, stealing a vehicle and attempting to elude police after a routine traffic stop.
In the wee hours of July 20, Lynn Griffith was curbed on Roosevelt Road near the Beloit Avenue intersection after an officer noticed Griffith was driving with one non-lit headlight and with a rear door that was left ajar to fit a bicycle in the backseat.
When the stop was made, Griffith said he did not have a license and offered a false name when asked about the identity of the vehicle’s owner.
According to the police report, the officer knew Griffith was lying. When Griffith was asked to exit the vehicle, he placed the car in drive and sped away, in the process hitting another officer in the wrist with the open passenger door.
Griffith was reported as hitting speeds over 100 mph and collected a slew of traffic violations as he raced up and down nearby streets in an attempt to skirt authorities.
The chase ended when Griffith lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a utility poll at Roosevelt and Haase Avenue in Westchester.
Griffith was taken into custody and slapped with a number of offenses, including: motor vehicle theft, moving violations, operating an uninsured vehicle, improper passing, improper lane usage, speeding, failure to signal, battery, reckless driving, driving with a suspended or revoked license, attempting to elude an officer, and improper lighting.
These items were taken from the records of the Forest Park Police Department between July 19 and July 26, 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