Officer grabs handgun during traffic stop

An officer snatched a semi-automatic handgun from the waistband of a convicted felon in a dark Berwyn parking lot after a traffic stop around 2 a.m. July 6. Police observed a tan 1999 Chevy Malibu travelling at a high rate of speed south past the 800 block of Harlem Avenue. When the officer followed the car, he observed the driver was travelling around 48 miles per hour in a 35 mph zone. The squad followed the driver into Berwyn, where the Chevy pulled into a darkened parking lot behind the 1600 block of South Harlem and stopped. The driver, identified as Anthony L. Johnson, 31, of Chicago, provided an Illinois I.D. card and said he had no insurance for the vehicle. When the officer asked him, he admitted he had been drinking and the officer observed an open and partially empty 375 ml bottle of New Amsterdam vodka in the vehicle. A second officer arrived as backup. When the first officer asked him to step from the car, Johnson denied possessing any contraband on his person, but as he exited the auto, the officer noticed a bulge on the right hand side in the area of Johnson’s waistband. The officer lifted Johnson’s shirt and observed a Hi-Point 9 mm semi-automatic pistol in Johnson’s waistband. At that point, the officer announced that Johnson had a gun and grabbed it with his left hand. He then pinned Johnson against the car, whereupon the backup officer placed him in handcuffs. Johnson was found to be a convicted felon, having been found guilty of felonies in April of 2001 and March of 2003. When asked why he had the gun, Johnson reportedly smirked and said, “I plead the fifth.” The Cook County State’s Attorney approved felony unlawful weapon possession charges. Johnson was also charged with speeding, no valid proof of insurance and illegal transport of open alcohol.

AK-47 turns out to be BB gun

Forest Park police – with assisting officers from Oak Park and River Forest – were summoned to a home in the first block of Bergman Court around 9 p.m. on July 4 after a 911 caller told police her brother was inside the residence threatening to “kill everyone with his gun.” When squads arrived, police secured the perimeter and ordered residents to exit the house with their hands above their heads. A 21-year-old woman appeared on the front steps and slowly descended, demanding to know why police were at the house. Because she was lingering in the direct line of fire, an officer seized her arm and tried to move her away from the house, but she reportedly pulled her arm away and yelled at the officer. She reportedly continued to yell as the officer pulled her away from the steps and she was placed into custody for resisting arrest. A second female member of the household exited and insisted there was no disturbance and that two male members of the household known to Forest Park police from prior contact were not in the house. Neither woman would say whether the men had previously been at the house and fled.

Police entered and found several other female family members inside, and two small girls. They searched several apartment units and found no male subjects. They did find an AK-47-style assault rifle hanging on the wall in a second-floor bedroom. Police seized the weapon and found it to be a BB gun replica. They also found a plastic handgun and a grey metal paintball gun in the basement.

Pot in his underpants and a wad of cash

Forest Park police pulled over a 2005 silver Land Rover driving westbound on Madison near the Des Plaines River around 5:45 p.m. July1 for having an expired vehicle sticker. When the officer curbed the vehicle, he noted a strong smell of cannabis emitting from the open window. The driver, a 25-year-old Lombard man, was driving his mother’s vehicle. When asked to step out of the vehicle, he admitted he had cannabis on his person. Dispatch told the officer the driver had a prior drug arrest in Chicago with 3 grams of pot and a handgun in 2012. While the officer was performing a safety pat-down he detected a large square lump in the subject’s pants pocket. The subject confirmed that he had money in his pocket and said it was “about $1,000.” He also volunteered to remove a baggie of marijuana from his boxer shorts himself, an offer which was accepted. The money and 7 grams of cannabis was seized, but officers decided not to impound the mother’s vehicle since she had no other car and the subject told police he was just borrowing it. He was charged with possession of cannabis and the cash and pot were inventoried for evidence.

New bike in garage swapped for a clunker

A woman told police her son drove a vehicle from the garage of her residence in the 7700 block of Monroe and possibly left the garage door open around noon on July 4. When she entered the garage, her brand new women’s 16-inch red Raleigh Venture bicycle with a comfort seat and rear rack was missing and an old, beat-up black Magna boy’s bike was leaning against the garage wall. Loss was estimated at $479.

Early morning drunken crash in Walmart lot

A Walmart manager called police around 2:30 a.m. July 5 when she observed a 2009 Lincoln Continental Mark V meandering around the parking lot and saw it strike a parked vehicle. Forest Park police arrived and found the driver of the Lincoln slumped over his steering wheel with his eyes closed.

The driver, a 30-year-old from Chicago, told police he was “sleepy” and identified his location as “Walmart, Country Club Hills.” He failed field sobriety tests and was taken to the station where he blew a 0.198 blood alcohol level on a breathalyzer, more than twice the legal limit of .08. He was charged with DUI, no proof of insurance and driving violations.

Bar patrons behaving abominably

A 24-year-old male visitor from Greyslake came to police attention when he stumbled into Madison Street at Elgin around 12:30 a.m. July 6 and struck the windshield of a passing vehicle with the palm of his hand. The driver swerved to avoid hitting the subject who then saw an officer approaching and shoved his right hand down his shorts. When the officer ordered him to remove his hand, the man complied and two ziplock baggies containing a leafy substance, suspect cannabis, fell to the street. The man’s breath reportedly emitted the strong odor of alcoholic beverage and he allegedly had a hard time standing. When the officer questioned him, he reportedly responded, “Why don’t you go f— with some n—- instead of me?” When asked how he planned on getting home to Greyslake, the man reportedly replied, “Go f— youself.” Although he would not answer where he had been drinking, a receipt for Shortstop Lounge was recovered from his person. He was charged with reckless conduct and possession of cannabis.

Police arrested a patron of Doc Ryan’s, 7432 Madison, around 2:40 a.m. July 6 after observing the man in front of the bar pick up a bar stool used to prop open the front door and hurl it into the vestibule. The intoxicated 28-year-old Oak Park man claimed he was ejected from the bar because he had complained that a patron was selling cocaine and had stolen $40 from him. Doc Ryan staff said he was thrown out because he was throwing bar stools in the beer garden. He was issued a disorderly conduct citation.

Police were called around 12:40 a.m. July 6 to check the welfare of an intoxicated woman who was allegedly unable to stand and vomiting in the street near Madison and Burkhardt. When they arrived, they observed a 27-year-old Forest Park man who was trying to carry/drag her into his apartment. He was allegedly also intoxicated and had a hard time just getting her to stand. The woman said that she wasn’t feeling well and that her ankle or foot was injured. When asked, she said she would like an ambulance. But the man allegedly interrupted her, reportedly saying, “You don’t need an ambulance, just let me take you to my house.” He then said to police, “I don’t need police here, I don’t even like you mutha—-.” He continued to swear when an ambulance arrived and announced “she’ not f— going with y’all.” He then stood in the way, blocking an officer. He was handcuffed while the woman was lifted into the ambulance and taken to Rush Oak Park Hospital. After she was gone, police issued a local ordnance ticket for disorderly conduct and released him.

A man called police around 2:30 a.m. July 4 from Jackson Boulevard and Madison Street and told them he’d been struck in the head by an unknown offender. He was observed to be bleeding from his head. Police found a man fitting the offender’s description, and whom they recognized from previous contacts, standing in front of Mugsy’s Tavern. The suspect was taken into custody and brought to the scene by police where the victim identified the man who had struck him. When asked what happened, the 30-year-old Maywood resident said, “I punched him in the face because he deserved it.” The victim declined to press charges and was taken to Rush Oak Park Hospital for his injuries. The aggressor was given local ordinance ticket for battery.

Tradesman sees tools nabbed

A group of power tools were removed from a Ford F-150X work truck parked in the 7500 block of Harrison Street around 5:20 p.m. on July 6. The owner said he saw three unknown men in a black pickup remove his power tools and throw them in the back of what looked like a “scrapper truck.” Stolen were two SawZalls, 2 battery packs and impact driver and a DeWalt screw gun.

Allegedly shooting heroin at Thornton’s

Police recognized the 19-year-old passenger of a 2003 Mazda sedan driving slowly around the parking lot of the Thornton gas station lot at 600 Harlem Avenue around 8:15 p.m. July 6. He was reportedly tying a black shoelace around his forearm and holding a loaded hypodermic needle with his teeth. He was a Warrenville man, 19, who had previously been arrested in Forest Park. Police stopped the vehicle and ordered the driver to park and shut off the engine. The suspect and the driver, an 18-year-old Wheaton man and a 17-year old female juvenile were ordered out of the car. Police recovered five purple baggies totaling 1.5 grams containing an off-white powdery substance, suspect heroin, and one bag containing powdery residue. A search of the vehicle revealed several used and unused hypodermic needles and a fully loaded needle under the passenger seat. The three young people were taken to the station, but the Wheaton man and the female passenger were released without charge.

The suspect reportedly told police he lined up a heroin purchase with his dealer at Augusta and Cicero in Chicago and the Wheaton man had agreed to drive him into Chicago to pick up the narcotics in exchange for one baggie full of heroin. He said the driver pulled off the I 290 in Forest Park so the suspect could “cook” one baggie of heroin. He was charged with possession of narcotics and given an Aug. 1 court date.

These items were obtained from the records of the Forest Park Police Department, June 30-July 6, 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...