Late night cab ride with rifle turns sour

A police officer on patrol observed a Blue Ribbon taxi traveling westbound on Jackson Boulevard around 1:45 a.m., April 11, which flashed its lights as the squad car passed. When the officer stopped the squad, the taxi driver pulled up behind the car and stopped. Police said a man jumped out of the cab and began to run southbound on Circle Avenue and then through rear yards in the 600 block of Circle Avenue. Apprehended by police in the backyard of one of the homes, he was identified as Marcus King Jr., 18, of Forest Park, who was on parole for a felony charge of possession of ammunition. 

Police arrested King, after threatening to zap him with the X26 Taser. From his pockets they recovered three .22 caliber live-round bullets. The cab driver told police King had failed to pay his entire cab fare of $70 and asked to file a “theft of services” complaint against King. He gave police King’s belongings from the back seat which included a .22 caliber long rifle in a carrying case wrapped in white garbage bags, ear plugs, a 16 oz. bottle of soda and a can of potato chips. King refused to be interviewed by police, stating, “It’s not gonna make a difference. I only got two arrests as an adult.”

When asked where he got the rifle, he reportedly told police “I took it from my homie at his house when he fell asleep.” 

The Cook County State’s Attorney approved felony charges for unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon, possession of ammunition by a felon, no FOID card and theft of services. The Illinois Dept. of Corrections issued a parole violation warrant for King. He was held without bond and issued an April 17 court date in the Maybrook courthouse.

Blackhawks license plate tags suspect

The LaGrange Park Police Department notified Forest Park police they were seeking the driver of a black 2003 Mercury Marquis bearing a “Blackhawks” hockey vanity plate. According to LaGrange Park, the owner of the vehicle was wanted for prescription fraud. Forest Park officers recognized the Mercury traveling at Desplaines Avenue and Randolph Street around 11 a.m., April 7. The driver, 31, had just moved to Forest Park. He had a suspended driver’s license for a DUI charge in March 2013. He was charged with driving with license suspended. The Mercury was impounded.

Three-phone afternoon

Police curbed a 2004 Buick Allure around 2:45 p.m., April 7, near Harlem and Cermak in North Riverside after noticing the vehicle had a cracked windshield. When the officer turned on emergency lights, he observed the front seat passenger begin to make furtive movements to the passenger side floorboard and the backseat passenger looked backward at the officer three times. When the officer approached the car, he observed the backseat passenger with a clear zip-lock baggie on his lap. When police recovered the baggie, it was found to have the residue of a green leafy substance resembling cannabis. Officers reported smelling a strong odor of burnt marijuana. When asked if they had any illegal substances in the car, the three denied it, but one said, “Yeah, we just smoked, but we don’t have any more weed.”

The front-seat passenger, 17, had three cellphones on his lap that continually rang and chirped as phone calls and texts were received. From him, police recovered three bundles of cash in $360, $74, and $800 wads. He was asked to remove his shoes because they were untied and he had been observed making furtive movements. A strip of double-sided clear tape connecting six blue baggies containing an off-white powdery substance suspected to be heroin and weighing 5 grams, fell out and onto the ground. 

The driver and one passenger were released without charge. But the passenger told police he had hidden the heroin in his shoes and was planning to sell it for $120. The young man was transported to the juvenile detention center.  

Dognappers at Walmart?

A 19-year-old Maywood woman called police to report her dog had been taken from where it was tied up in the Walmart parking lot at 1300 Desplaines Ave., April 8. She said she tied up the 7-month-old Australian shepherd to a tree near a grassy island in the parking lot. While shopping, she told police she got a phone call around 2 p.m. and a male voice told her he had found her dog. Then he called again and said a woman in a red vehicle who said she was from an animal shelter had taken the dog. Surveillance video confirmed the narrative. The dog owner did not follow up with police.

Burning clothes in the alley

A neighbor observed two men, 44 and 37, throwing items of clothing onto a fire in the alley behind the 1200 block of Harlem Avenue around 6 p.m., April 8. The Forest Park Fire Dept. arrived and put out the blaze. The witness told police she overheard one of the men tell the other, “If the cops show up, we’ll just say some black guys started the fire.” They were issued local ordinance citations for starting fires.

Thieves go after expensive bike

A high-end 24-speed Schwinn electric bicycle was removed from the storage area of a building in the first block of Elgin Avenue, April 3-9. Persons unknown broke off the lock and broke the door frame. Loss was estimated at $2,600.

A victim told police he left his bicycle unlocked in front of 12th Street Wings in the 7200 block of Roosevelt Road around 12:30 a.m., April 11. When he exited the restaurant, he noticed the bike was missing and saw a figure wearing dark clothes heading east on his bicycle. He couldn’t tell police whether the bike thief was male or female. Police canvassed the area but could not find anyone. 

A man told police he left his Volvo C70 in the lot outside his apartment unlocked overnight behind 33 Rockford Ave., April 11. In the morning, he discovered his car had been ransacked, the center console opened and the trunk broken. Removed was a set of Cleveland golf clubs in a golf bag. The clubs were valued at $600.

Two catalytic converters were removed from school buses parked behind Forest Park Middle School in the 900 block of Ferdinand, April 8-10.

Traveling a distance for a jab

Police observed a passenger in a 2001 Ford Ranger around 3:30 p.m., April 9, who was not wearing a seatbelt. They curbed the Ranger in the Forest Park Mall parking lot and as an officer approached, he observed one male occupant reaching under the passenger seat. Fearing he was going to retrieve a weapon, the officer asked the man to put his hands on the dashboard. As the man raised his hands the officer saw him drop a hypodermic needle to the floor. Police noted both men seemed “extremely nervous” and had fresh “track marks” and blood on the backs of their swollen hands. One man, 33, was from Lake in the Hills and the other, 35, was from Huntley. Police recovered another hypodermic needle and 15 small yellow zip-lock bags with an off-white chalky substance that tested positive for heroin from the driver’s pocket. The combined weight from one man was 6.7 grams and from the other was 6.5 grams. At the station, the driver told police he got addicted to heroin after recovering from being shot during a carjacking. He said while recovering from his gunshot wound, he got addicted to pain pills then moved to heroin. The two said they drove to the West Side of Chicago where they each bought one Jab of heroin for $100 each. They were charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia and given a court date in May.

These items were obtained from the records of the Forest Park Police Department, April 7-14, 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 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...