High-speed chase trashes Escalade

A Forest Park officer on patrol was passed by a 2007 black Cadillac Escalade driving erratically southbound around 1:50 a.m., Jan. 14, in the 1200 block of Harlem Avenue. When the vehicle changed lanes without signaling, the officer activated his dome lights to curb the car. But the Escalade accelerated to 88 miles per hour in a 35-mph zone and sped southbound. The Cadillac drove through a red light at Cermak Road and increased speed, recklessly changing lanes to pass other vehicles. The officer was ordered by dispatchers to cease the chase as the Escalade crossed Ogden at a high rate of speed running a red light. The officer returned to Forest Park, but a few minutes later he heard dispatchers say the North Riverside police were pursuing the same vehicle northbound on Harlem approaching Roosevelt Road. By now, the Escalade had two flat tires but rushed past officer squad cars and turned onto eastbound I-290. One squad car continued the pursuit on the expressway. By now the rear driver’s side flat had lost the tire and was riding on the rim but increased speed to 89 mph until the rim began to disintegrate. The SUV then began to spark and throw debris onto the roadway. Then the front driver’s side rim broke, almost causing the driver to lose control of the car. The car came to a halt near the Central Park Avenue bridge. The driver, Uriel Morales, 30, of Chicago, allegedly smelled of alcohol. He failed field sobriety tests and refused to take a Breathalyzer exam at the station. He was charged with attempting to elude police, reckless driving, speeding, operating an uninsured vehicle, failure to wear a seat belt, driving on unsafe tires, DUI, and miscellaneous other driving violations. The Escalade was seized.

A stroll down the CTA tracks

A man was seen walking on the CTA Green Line tracks around 1:30 a.m., Jan. 13. Forest Park police responded and found a 56-year-old Evanston man who exited the train and ignored warning signs as he strode down the track. He allegedly used profanity toward CTA workers who urged him to get off the rail line for fear that he would be electrocuted. When police arrived, CTA employees cut power to all tracks until he was safely removed. He was charged with criminal trespass to state land and reckless and disorderly conduct.

Warrant arrest

Forest Park police assisted the West Suburban Gang and Drug Enforcement (WEDGE) units in the arrest, Jan. 16, of a man wanted by Georgia police. According to police, the 49-year-old man from Georgia was wanted for three out-of-state warrants for fraud and theft by deception. He was taken into custody in the 500 block of Elgin Avenue around 1:30 p.m. and held in Forest Park until he was picked up the Illinois Dept. of Corrections. 

Burglars even take the couch

A man told police his apartment in the 7200 block of Madison Street had been burglarized sometime between Jan. 10 and 14. Police said the door to the unit was forced open and the apartment had been ransacked.  Missing from the apartment were a Taurus semi-automatic handgun, three gold rings with the images of Jesus, Superman and an “Indian head,” two gold rings with the letters “I” and “U” on them, one duty belt with handcuffs and pepper spray and a couch. Estimated loss was not provided.

Dog poo in the yard

A Forest Park man, 56, was issued a local ordinance ticket for “failing to remove excreta” and for not having a valid dog owner’s permit for his 3-year-old boxer after a neighbor complained to police. Police said the man, from the 1100 block of Hannah Avenue, was confronted by a neighbor, the morning of Jan. 11, after his boxer left a token on the front yard of the neighbor’s house. The dog owner allegedly slammed his door in the face of the complaining neighbor, who flagged down police, and provided photographic evidence of the excreta in question. Police caught up with the dog owner and his wife the next day at a gas station and showed them the photographic evidence. The man admitted his dog had defecated in the location shown and that he had failed to clean up and dispose of it. He also acknowledged not registering the dog with the village. He was issued two local ordinance citations. The man was also charged with not having a valid driver’s license and failure to provide proof of auto insurance. 

Hospital argument ends with mom Tasered

A woman who had been removed by police earlier the same day was arrested at Riveredge Hospital, 8311 Roosevelt Rd., around 11 p.m., Jan. 15, after a dispute with hospital staff. Police said the 31-year-old woman was angry with the hospital’s procedures after they refused to admit her 12-year-old son, who walked alone to the hospital from Maywood earlier that evening and asked to be admitted. Since the boy was not in custody of an adult, the hospital refused to admit him. They released the boy to the custody of his grandmother. The mother came to the hospital twice to complain and began to yell and use profanities, according to police. When asked by police to leave, the woman, who allegedly smelled strongly of alcohol, allegedly became belligerent and said to the officer, “I’m not leaving; you are going to have to arrest me.” She added, “What if I took your gun and spit in your face?”

As she was being led away, she broke free and tried to run for the exit. Informed she was being arrested for criminal trespass, she allegedly pulled her hands away and resisted arrest. According to reports, while hospital employees helped to hold her down, the officer demanded that she place her hands behind her body. When she refused, the officer deployed a “drive stun” from his Taser X26. At that point, the women complied as she was taken into custody. She was charged with criminal trespass and resisting a police officer. 

These items were obtained from the records of the Forest Park Police Department, Jan. 12-20, 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

Jean Lotus

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...