Wrong-way driver in a damaged Chevy

Forest Park police were dispatched to investigate reports of a white 2002 Chevy Cavalier driving recklessly without headlights and with heavy front-end damage around 2:30 a.m., Nov. 11, near the intersection of Desplaines Avenue and Madison Street. The Chevy was observed traveling north in the southbound lanes toward the light at Madison. The vehicle ran the red light and continued northbound. Police curbed the car in the 200 block of Desplaines. The driver, age 31 from Oak Park, exited the car wearing disheveled clothing and no shoes. Officers observed that his eyes were glassy and his speech was slurred. He told them, “I’m just trying to get home. I haven’t been drinking. I’m on pain medication for my back.” After fumbling to find his license and proof of insurance, he searched for his glasses, which were on the passenger seat beside him. He put them on upside down. He denied being in an accident but could not open the car door because the metal was buckling because of the front-end damage to his Chevy. When the door was forced open, the man reportedly had a hard time standing and had to be held up by officers. He refused field sobriety tests and was brought to the station where he was charged with DUI. At that point, he began to complain saying, “It’s because of my medications! None of them say, ‘Do Not Drive,’ only ‘Use Caution.'”

“When the judge sees it just says, ‘Use Caution,’ it’ll all be thrown out,” he added.

A witness, who had been following the Chevy from the Walmart parking lot, told police the vehicle ran several red lights and traveled significant distances in the wrong lane on Madison Street, Roosevelt Road and Desplaines. The witness did not see a collision, but thought the car looked like it had been involved in a wreck. Police charged the man with DUI, improper lane usage, disobeying a traffic signal and no seat belt.

‘Didn’t even get a chance to do it’

A 32-year-old Chicago man was arrested by Forest Park police in Thornton’s parking lot around 3:18 p.m., Nov. 13, after an officer on foot passed his 2001 maroon Oldsmobile Alero with Kentucky plates and observed in plain sight in the car a hypodermic syringe and a small plastic bag containing an off-white substance. Police recovered a burnt spoon on the floor in front of the driver’s seat, and a small bag on the passenger’s seat containing two more syringes. At the station, the man told police he ran into a “guy a friend knows” who had some “pure stuff” on him. He added, “I didn’t even get a chance to do it before you walked up on me.” He was charged with possession of a controlled substance.

Giving another inmate’s name

Police arrested a 30-year-old Chicago man who was wanted on a parole violation after he gave them a false name and attempted to flee, around 6 p.m., Nov. 13, in the 7400 block of Harrison Street. Police came to the address after neighbors called to complain that a man and woman were smoking cannabis in the parking lot. When police arrived, the man said he had no identification on his person and allegedly provided a false name of a person who was in custody with the Illinois Dept. of Corrections. He also gave a false birthday, but miscalculated his age when asked. When he was informed he was under arrest and asked to place his hands behind his back, he reportedly attempted to flee the area on foot. He was taken into custody, and police recovered a Wisconsin ID identifying him. At the police station, he was found to have an active warrant from the IDOC for a parole violation. He was charged with resisting arrest and having an in-state warrant.

Apartment burglary

A basement apartment in the 1100 block of Hannah Avenue was burglarized overnight, Nov. 13-14. Police said the victim arrived home around 2:15 p.m. and found his kitchen window pried open. Two Samsung Galaxy S3 cellphones and an electric hair clipper were missing. Police noted a flat-screen television and jar of coins in the bedroom were untouched. Loss was estimated at $700. The man also told police someone had broken into a 2001 Land Rover parked at his address and attempted to strip the ignition column.

Second snowblower, mower taken from garage

A woman whose snowblower turned up in the hands of a man pushing it down the street in the middle of the night, Nov. 4, arrived home in the 800 block of Lathrop Avenue during the day, Nov. 15, to find the garage door open and a different snowblower and lawnmower missing. The offenders left two leafblowers a weed-whacker and a bike behind.

Intoxicated bride, screaming in the street

A newly married woman, age 43, was arrested by Forest Park police around 3 a.m. in the 7300 block of Circle after a wedding party turned violent. The bride alleged her brother and daughter got into an argument that turned physical and the brother punched the daughter in the face. The argument spilled outside and the bride reportedly began to yell and scream, telling police, “Arrest me, then, arrest me. You’re not doing anything to my brother. That’s my [expletive] brother.” The daughter stated she wanted to sign a complaint for battery but refused to come to the station. The uncle was released. The bride reportedly refused to lower her voice and “continued yelling and screaming up and down the street for close to 30 minutes waking up the residents on the block.” She was taken into custody and charged with public intoxication and disorderly breach of peace.

Crosswalk accident averted

A 25-year-old Bellwood woman driving a 2014 Kia told police she “didn’t see anyone” in the street at Madison Street and Elgin Avenue when she drove through the crosswalk around 5:30 p.m., Nov. 16, almost striking a pedestrian. The pedestrian leapt backward and was not hit by the vehicle. Police stopped the driver and gave her a local ordinance citation for failing to yield in a crosswalk.

Underage party bust

Police observed a group of people standing in the street in front of a house in the 7500 block of Franklin Avenue around 1 a.m., Nov. 17. When they saw police, the group reportedly ran into the house. Neighbors complained that a loud party with underage drinking was taking place at the address. Police found a 20-year-old man from Des Plaines, who admitted he was under age and had been consuming alcoholic beverages. The host, age 22, allowed police into the house, at which point the party was broken up and everyone who didn’t live there left the scene. Police found a female subject in the house who appeared highly intoxicated and was vomiting. She was transported by ambulance to Rush Oak Park Hospital. The host was given a local ordinance citation for a “disorderly house.” The 20-year-old was given an underage citation.

These items were obtained from the records of the Forest Park Police Department, Nov. 9-17, 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

Brawl outside Oak Leaf Lounge includes man in drag

Forest Park police in 10 squad cars broke up a fight involving an estimated 20-30 people, with at least one man in drag, which spilled out of the Oak Leaf Lounge/The Pines restaurant, 7412 Harrison St., around 2:25 a.m., Nov. 16. Police estimated 100 people milled outside observing and aggravating the fight. Police took into custody a woman who started two fights after they arrived and placed her in the back of a squad car. They also addressed a man in woman’s clothing who was in the middle of an altercation. Once in the squad, he told police he was not fighting but just returning to the parking lot to retrieve his purse and shoes. He said he was attacked in the lot by a group for no reason. After remaining fights in the lot were broken up and the crowd dispersed, the two persons in the squad cars were released without charge.

Neighbors have complained about the private parties held at the Oak Leaf Lounge and The Pines. In May 2012 about 40 neighbors from the 800 blocks of Hannah and Thomas avenues met with village officials and the owners to discuss frustrations with the loud noise, littering, public urination and fighting that takes place at the buildings.

Attending the meeting last year were Mayor Anthony Calderone, Village Administrator Tim Gillian, Forest Park Police Chief Jim Ryan, Deputy Chief Tom Aftanas, the FPPD midnight watch commander and Detective Sgt. Mike Keating, according to Gillian. Also in attendance were Oak Leaf owner Tony Kaldis and his wife Maria, who live in Elmhurst.

At that time, Forest Park police promised to patrol more vigorously, and Kaldis said he would install more garbage cans and remind patrons to be respectful of the neighbors.

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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