Punches cyclist, swims river, fights police dog

A Bellwood man with an outstanding warrant for aggravated battery from Macon County was involved in a police foot chase in which he fled through a cemetery, swam across the Des Plaines River, fought a police K-9 unit and punched an officer around 8 p.m. on Oct. 12 in the 7900 block of Madison St.

A man called police to report being punched with a closed fist in the face as he rode his bicycle past a group of males walking westbound. When River Forest and Forest Park police responded, they saw the group walking at Thatcher Ave. and one man, Lenardo Labon, 22, broke from the group and fled on foot across Madison Street, climbing the fence and running into Concordia Cemetery. Officers observed Labon swimming across the Des Plaines River and climbing out on the western bank. The other males in the group, who were minors, said they were being followed and threatened by Labon and didn’t know him. They also told police he mentioned having a handgun.

A police K-9 officer at the river bank reported that he released his dog after announcing, “Hey bad guy, Forest Park police K-9. Give yourself up, come out now, or I will release my K-9 and you will be bit.” After a second search, the dog found Labon among the brush and the officer observed the dog grabbing Labon’s pant legs and tugging on it.

Labon reportedly yelled, “Get your dog off me” and then punched and kicked the dog. The officer, dog and suspect rolled down the steep embankment and fought “belly to belly,” according to reports. Labon allegedly punched the officer in the face and broke his glasses. The officer eventually handcuffed Lebon with assistance from a second officer.

Labon was transported to the Forest Park Police Department, where he was observed to have a strong smell of alcohol on his breath. He was taken to Rush Oak Park Hospital for treatment after paramedics observed cuts on his head and hand.

Labon reportedly told police, “I’m going to the joint tomorrow anyways. I don’t give f- about you, I don’t give a f- about the dog. Just put me in the back.”

He was charged with battery, in state warrant, battery to a police dog and resisting arrest.

Strong-arm robbery

A man reported that he was walking around midnight to the Circle Ave. Blue Line CTA stop on Oct. 9 and was jumped by two men who “put him in a headlock” and dragged him between houses in the 600 block of Circle, where they punched his mouth and chin. Taken were a “Swiss Army” bag, a cellphone and credit cards. Offenders attempted to use one credit card in Cicero the next morning but were denied.

Apartments burglarized

A man in his backyard heard loud noises in the alley and called police around 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 11 in the 900 block of Elgin. Investigating, he saw a Porsche convertible with a man inside rummaging around as lights were flashing inside the Porsche. A white Pontiac with a temporary license plate drove up and the witness saw the man exit the Porsche and heard the Pontiac driver shout, “Hey bro, let’s go.” The two men fled in the Pontiac. Nothing was reported missing from the convertible.

Meanwhile, the Porsche’s owner told police that he entered his second-floor apartment in the 900 block of Marengo and found it ransacked. He showed police that the screen to the front window had been torn open. Missing were an X-Box video game and jewelry items, including a man’s gold arm bangle and a diamond engagement ring.

A woman in the 900 block of Elgin returned home to her apartment around 11 p.m. the same night and found her kitchen window frame had been forcibly broken and her apartment ransacked. The front door was wide open. Drawers and closets in the kitchen and bedroom had been opened. Missing was a flat-screen TV, an Apple laptop and a large suitcase containing X box games and a console.

Van stolen from parking stall

A woman told police her 2002 red Dodge van disappeared from the parking stall behind her home in the 1000 block of Thomas, overnight on Oct. 10. She told police it was equipped with a LoJack GPS device and Chicago police found it the following day parked near Albany Ave. and Jackson Blvd. in Chicago. A pry tool had been used to gain entry through the window. The steering column had been stripped. Police found a cigarette butt in the vehicle which they sent to the state for DNA testing.

Broken window theory

A man told police that $500 worth of landscaping and carpentry tools were stolen overnight Oct. 12 from his 1988 Chevy 1500 pickup with a broken window after he left them in the vehicle parked in the 1300 block of Elgin. Allegedly missing were a leafblower, a weed-whacker, a black tool box, a yellow tool belt, a circular saw, a “sawzall” and a drill. The front tire of the pickup was also reported to be flat.

These items were obtained from the records of the Forest Park Police Department, Oct. 6-15, and represent a portion of the incidents to which police responded. Unless otherwise indicated, anyone named in the report has only been charged with a crime.

-Compiled by Jean Lotus