A shoplifting incident at Ed’s Way Foods turned violent on Monday afternoon after a man entered the store around 4 p.m. and was seen hiding six bottles of liquid detergent in his jacket and leaving without paying. Two employees followed the man out the door and to the alley behind the store where a struggle took place.

“The suspect told the employees he didn’t want to go back to jail,” said Deputy Police Chief Tom Aftanas. “He became more aggressive and struck one of the employees.”

The employee fell to the ground and struck his eye, Aftanas said. Leaving his coat and a sweatshirt behind, the man ran northbound up an alley and disappeared. Police found a suspect, coatless in 10 degree weather, an hour later around the 800 block of Ferdinand. He allegedly told police “I give up.”

The suspect, a 38 year old Chicago man, had not been yet charged, yet, but Aftanas said he had 77 previous arrests, including 28 convictions of robbery, burglary, larceny, assault and drug possession and was a reputed Cicero Insane gang member.

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...

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