Crime kept Forest Park police on their toes in 2013. The biggest stories of the year were the death of two women, killed on the I-290 expressway by an intoxicated driver who drove the wrong way down the Harlem Avenue exit ramp and the bust of a large-scale, Chicago heroin processing center run from a Forest Park apartment. 

Police said driver Miguel Rico, 20, of Chicago, was intoxicated after drinking at a barbeque in Berwyn around 1:45 a.m., Sept. 7. He headed north on Harlem and turned onto the exit ramp into oncoming traffic. He drove his red 2005 Dodge minivan into oncoming traffic striking a blue 2001 Ford. Killed were Monica Hernandez, 20, of Maywood, and Briana Resto, 19, of Northlake. One woman survived with injuries. The three women were high school friends and graduates of Proviso East High School. 

Forest Park police officers on patrol observed the van entering wrong-way on the ramp but could not prevent it. Forest Park’s fire department and police quickly arrived at the crash scene and fire fighters put out the fire in the van. The Ford overturned and only one passenger was able to escape. Rico, who had no driver’s license and had an outstanding warrant for a drug case parole violation was charged with reckless homicide. Rico is in Cook County Jail awaiting a January hearing.

An apartment in the 7400 block of Washington Street was used by alleged Chicago drug dealers as a processing site for a large-scale heroin ring on the West Side of Chicago. Forest Park police, along with officers from the West Suburban Drug and Gang Enforcement force (WEDGE), served a warrant on June 26 and recovered 85 grams of heroin in 465 foil packages, as well as three illegal guns, $3,611 and a bottle of Jamaican rum. 

Police arrested Secret S. Shack, 34, of Broadview; Charles L. Johnson, aka “Catfish,” 34, of Chicago; Javon D. Evans, aka “Weezy” and “Lil Wayne,” 33, of Forest Park; and Jarvis L. Baker, 29, of Chicago. The four were charged with manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of drug equipment and unlawful use of a weapon. Three men bonded out, but Shack remains in Cook County Jail awaiting a January court date.

In other crime news, cops caught a convicted arsonist from New Orleans who was allegedly setting late-night garbage can fires as he walked his dog in December and January. Samuel Sahady, 37, of the 7200 block of Randolph Street matched the description of a man who allegedly lit at least five Forest Park trash receptacles ablaze by throwing in burning pieces of paper. Sahady was convicted in federal court of setting fire to a multifamily apartment building in 2000. 

Forest Park officers and participating WEDGE officers helped nab a man wanted for a home invasion in River Forest and helped crack a Maywood heroin ring in May that netted heroin, crack and ecstasy with a street value of $28,000. 

In June, Forest Park police used phone records to capture Cedric Q. Bolling, 25, of Chicago after he allegedly used a sledgehammer to smash in the back door of a currency exchange at Roosevelt Road and Harlem Avenue. Bolling reportedly called a cab after getting away with $4,462. Police tracked him to a residence in Stickney within a week. 

Forest Park police used fingerprints left behind on a 7-Eleven cash register as evidence to nab Travis Cook, 53, of Chicago and charge him with the aggravated robbery of the convenience store, Aug. 4. Cook had more than 50 prior arrests by Chicago area police. He is awaiting trial in Cook County Jail.  

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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