Forest Park police arrested a Berwyn man and his brother the night of March 15 after finding them cruising around in a pickup truck stolen from Stone Park. The driver’s brother had fake federal identification on him, and the citizenship of both men is being questioned by the Department of Homeland Security.
A patrolling officer spotted 27-year-old Miguel Tapia driving on Harlem Avenue at Madison Street and pulled him over after running the car’s plates and learning it was stolen. The officer then radioed for backup and followed the truck until it stopped for a red light at Jackson Boulevard, when he pulled over the truck.
When the officer approached the truck, Tapia reportedly tried to flee by “ramming the pickup between two vehicles” and driving directly at the officer, according to the police report. Tapia and the officer fought for control of the truck until more police arrived and apprehended the driver.
“That was a dangerous one,” said Deputy Chief Tom Aftanas in a phone interview.
Police reported that Tapia smelled of alcohol and had a half-empty 40-ounce container of Steel Reserve beer between his legs. He was charged with possession of stolen property, DUI, aggravated assault, transportation of open alcohol, driving on a suspended license, fleeing and eluding police, resisting arrest, reckless driving and criminal damage to property.
Passenger Roberto Tapia, 43, of Chicago, was also arrested. He initially gave police a false name, a claim bolstered by a fraudulent Social Security card and U.S. Permanent Resident card. Roberto Tapia was processed on a Chicago warrant and charged with criminal trespass, fraud and obstruction. The Cook County State’s Attorney approved felony upgrades for both men, and Homeland Security was notified as well.
Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ordered both men detained so they can appear before a federal judge, Aftanas said. This is subsequent to concerns over their citizenship.
Roberto Tapia is being held without bail at the Cook County Jail, where Miguel Tapia is also located, with his bond set at $100,000.
Amy Malina contributed to this story.