Mislaid wallet leads to police scuffle, arrest

A 60-year-old Matteson man who told police he was in Forest Park to drive his nephew around to look at apartments got into a conflict with Forest Park police while feeling for his wallet on the floor of his vehicle. According to police reports, around 4:30 p.m., March 26, they observed a 31-year-old Forest Park man loitering in an alley as if waiting to meet someone. The man reportedly spoke to a 25-year-old woman, then walked across the parking lot and greeted the driver of a 2013 red Nissan Maxima, who exited the car and the two shook hands.

Suspecting a hand-to-hand drug transaction had just taken place, police approached the vehicle and questioned the driver. The driver reportedly denied meeting anyone, then stated that he had met up with his cousin. According to the report, when asked for identification, the Matteson man felt in his pockets and coat for his wallet and “was very nervous and continued to fidget with his pants pockets,” then told police he did not know where his wallet was.

The man reached between the driver’s seat and the door, at which point, officers demanded that he stop and keep his hands visible, thinking he might be reaching for a weapon. He continued to reach under the seat again after being advised to stop twice, reportedly saying, “No, I’m just going to check real quick.”

At that point the officer ordered him out of the vehicle. The man grabbed the steering wheel with both hands and refused to exit the vehicle. After a struggle in which the man reportedly shouted, “I’m not getting out of the car” and “No, you’re not taking me out of this car!” Police advised him he would be placed in custody for obstructing a police officer. After a struggle, officers pulled the man out of the car and placed him in handcuffs.

The man reportedly asked why he was being arrested and then stated, “No you can’t arrest me for that. Man, I was only looking for my wallet.”

When police searched the car, they recovered no handguns or narcotics. An officer recovered the wallet under the driver’s seat near the center console.

At the police station, the younger man identified his cousin in the red Nissan and the woman as another cousin. The group denied any narcotics activities and said the two “shook up” hands as a regular greeting.

The man told police, “You had no reason to stop me,” and said he was in the area to help his cousin look for apartments. He was charged with resisting and obstructing an officer

Fleeing man found in Dumpster

A 30-year-old Matteson man was arrested after fleeing police during a routine traffic stop around midnight on March 30, running back and forth across Harlem Avenue where he eluded a Taser, and was eventually discovered hiding in a Dumpster in the alley behind the 400 block of Elgin.

Police said they curbed a blue 2008 Dodge Magnum with several female passengers and one male. After questioning the male, officers noted he appeared nervous and stated he had no identification and stuttered while speaking. He reportedly then misspelled his own name and declined to give officers an address. Reports say officers attempted to place him under arrest for obstructing identification and pulled him out of the car. He allegedly broke free and fled across Harlem across four lanes of traffic. One officer aimed a Taser at him and missed, and he cut through the backyard of a house on the corner of Maple Avenue and Monroe Street in Oak Park, then ran across Harlem again into Forest Park where he temporarily eluded police until a witness observed him jumping into a blue Dumpster and called police. Officers recovered an identification card and discovered he had an open arrest warrant. They also recovered 7 grams of a green leafy substance in a baggie that tested positive for cannabis. He reportedly told police he fled because he knew he had an outstanding warrant. He was charged with resisting arrest, obstructing justice, having an in-state warrant, reckless conduct, possession of cannabis and one count of battery.

He loves Mary

Police stopped a 51-year-old Forest Park man on the 7200 block of Franklin around 1:40 p.m. on March 27 who was allegedly walking in the middle of the street and yelling, “I love Mary!” He reportedly spoke to police, who determined that he was intoxicated, and he agreed to keep his yelling to himself. But police said he resumed yelling when he started down the sidewalk and had to be reminded again. Police dispatchers received complaint calls 10 and 20 minutes later saying that the man was now drinking a 22 oz. bottle of Colt 45 beer. Police arrested him at Lehmer and Beloit. He was given a local ordinance ticket for public intoxication.

Pigeon drop scam at Dunkin Donuts

A woman told police that after shopping at Whole Foods, she struck up a conversation with a woman sitting on a bench, who showed her an envelope containing a large sum of money. The envelope reportedly had a note inside which read that whoever found the money could keep it if they sent $10,000 to a person who was unknown to the victim. The friendly woman suggested they both send the $10,000 and then split the money in the envelope. She told the victim her share would be $50,000. The unknown woman then walked over to an acquaintance in a grey sedan parked in the Dunkin Donuts parking lot at 7200 Circle Ave. The acquaintance, a woman in her 40s, allegedly suggested they take the money into CVS and verify that it was real. Both women then went into CVS and when they emerged, assured the victim the money was genuine. The two then persuaded her to allow them to drive her to U.S. Bank, where the second woman escorted her inside to withdraw $5,000. After the withdrawal, the two women drove the victim back to CVS and told her the manager was holding her $50,000 inside the store. The woman went to CVS and inquired about the money, which was not there. The two women and her $5,000 were also gone.

Vehicle crimes

A white 1994 Chrysler Town and Country minivan was removed from the parking lot of Wal-Mart around 7:40 p.m. on March 27 while the owner was inside the store, police said.

Someone smashed a piece of concrete through the windshield of a 2010 Dodge sedan parked overnight in the north CTA lot at the 711 Desplaines Ave. Blue Line terminal March 27.

A man told police he observed an unknown man smashing the passenger window of his 2011 Chevy truck around 6:30 p.m. in the parking lot of R-Place, 1527 Harlem Ave. The victim said he saw the offender grab a black laptop bag containing a Dell laptop and digital camera and that the thief fled on foot to 16th and Harlem, where he entered a parked Maroon GMC Astro van and drove away westbound on 16th St. The victim managed to recover the license plate number of the Astro. Later that day, Forest Park police curbed an Astro with a matching plate at 43rd Street and First Avenue in Lyons. The victim positively identified the 22-year-old Berwyn driver and the black laptop bag and a screwdriver were recovered from the Astro. After asking the assistant state’s attorney to approve felony charges, Terry Lynn Smith was charged with felony burglary from motor vehicle, felony possession of burglary tools, and misdemeanor criminal damage to property.

An unlocked 2008 Mazda was ransacked sometime overnight March 29 while parked behind the 7400 block of Washington.

A catalytic converter was removed from a Toyota SUV overnight in the 300 block of Marengo.

Garage burglaries

Someone entered an unlocked and open garage door in the 600 block of Circle Ave., overnight on March 28, and ransacked two parked cars. A GPS was removed.

Unknown persons entered a garage in the 600 block of Circle Ave., overnight March 29-30 by kicking in the panels on the side entry door to gain entry to the garage. Removed were $20 worth of change and a car parked inside had been ransacked.

Several vehicles and garages in the 500 and 600 blocks of Hannah were discovered to have been ransacked, overnight March 29-30.

A garage in the 400 block of Desplaines was entered by kicking in the side door between 7:30 and 8 p.m., March 30. A red woman’s 10-speed Schwinn bicycle was missing.

These items were obtained from the records of the Forest Park Police Department, March 25-31, 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.

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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