Officer pulls gun on disorderly teens

Police were summoned to reports of young men fighting in the 7500 block of Brown Street at 9:24 p.m., April 22. When officers arrived, the lads scattered and were chased through the gangway of a house on Lathrop. Four young men fled through backyards, jumping fences until they reached a building in the 100 block of Lathrop Avenue. They ran inside and locked the front door. The officer could see the men through the glass huddling in the hall. He broke the glass and opened the door, drawing his weapon and detaining the subjects at gunpoint. 

One, a minor, had previously been arrested by police for carrying a large kitchen knife. Another minor was corralled by a different officer in the 200 block of Lathrop Avenue in River Forest. After parents were called in, officers learned they were former friends, but a rift had erupted into vandalism, resulting in two broken windows on the home on Brown. Three of the men, age 18, 19 and 20, were charged with misdemeanor mob action. One was charged with resisting arrest and another was found to have an open warrant from the Forest Park Police Dept. The juveniles were turned over to parents. 

More chasing kids through yards

Police arrived at a college student house party in the 7500 block of Brown Street at 12:58 a.m., April 27, after receiving calls complaining of loud music and noise. When they arrived, a male who looked too young to be drinking, fled on foot through yards in the 100 block of Desplaines Avenue, through the alley and finally jumped a fence into a rear yard. The man, age 19, from Oak Lawn, was eventually taken into custody and charged with illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor and resisting arrest. 

Restaurant burglarized

Officers responded to an alarm at 5:54 a.m., April 23, at Damenzo’s Restaurant, 7300 Roosevelt Rd. When they arrived, they found the front plate-glass window had been shattered and the back door unlocked. The hole in the glass was big enough for a man to crawl through, according to reports. Missing was the restaurant cash register. An ice pick and muddy footprints were found on the restaurant floor.  

Burglary to auto

Two unlocked cars parked in the 7700 block of Adams Street, overnight April 7, were cleaned out of their valuables. A TomTom GPS was removed from a Mazda and someone took $100 cash from a Toyota.

A man flagged down police and told them his locked Toyota Highlander had been burglarized a week earlier, April 16-17, by someone who broke the driver’s side lock and ransacked the car, removing miscellaneous change. 

Picking up drugs at the CVS

A Forest Park officer observed a man driving a 1996 Dodge seatbelt-less through the CVS parking lot and curbed the car. The male driver, age 30, from Elgin, was found to have a revoked license. He did have an insurance card. While talking to him, the officer noted a hypodermic syringe on the driver’s seat. Police recovered around 30 folded foil packets containing a powdery gray substance that later tested positive for heroin, as well as several more syringes. The total weight of the heroin was 30 grams. 

At the station, the man told police he had been addicted to heroin for three months and had stopped in Forest Park to meet his dealer, after visiting his children. He told police he paid $240 for two “jabs” of heroin and was on his way home when he was stopped. He was charged with possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. 

Rolling away

A man left his convertible silver platform cart behind after loading his vehicle with tools around 11:30 p.m., April 21, in the 1100 block of Circle Avenue. When he returned, he discovered the cart, worth $330, had disappeared.

Scrap metal

An old clothes dryer was discovered removed from the garage of a house in the 1300 block of Harlem Avenue around 5 p.m., April 22. The owner told police someone lifted her unlocked front garage door and pulled the dryer out. Also missing was a letter to her goddaughter that had been taped to the back door, she said. No value was given.

Wads of cash, three cellphones seized

An officer pulled over the driver of a 2014 Chevy Impala after he failed to signal while exiting the Thornton’s gas station at 601 Harlem Ave. Survell D. Harris, 28, from Chicago, told police he did not have a license but was driving a rental car for his wife. He also mentioned he was on parole. Police, performing a safety search, discovered two wads of cash, one $1,600 and one $900 in the man’s pants pockets, as well as three cellphones that twittered and rang constantly. When asked why he was carrying cash, Harris replied he was going to bring his wife cash because, as a tax preparer, she needed $2,500 to give a refund to a client. When asked about the phones he said, “I don’t know man, I just have three phones.” Harris also said he was in Forest Park to buy gas before returning to his wife’s office on Polk Street in Chicago. Dispatch confirmed Harris had eight narcotics arrests and eight convictions. A K-9 narcotics dog signaled the presence of narcotics in the vehicle as well as on the money seized from Harris. He was charged with failure to signal and driving with a suspended license. The cash was seized by police based on his previous history of narcotics convictions.

Hit and run

Forest Park assisted in the arrest in Oak Park of an alleged hit-and-run driver at 5:54 p.m., April 25. The Chevy Express, driven by Sergio Rodriguez, 30, of Chicago, allegedly crossed the yellow line and sideswiped an Impala driving near Roosevelt Road and First Avenue. The Impala’s driver made a U-turn and chased the Chevy eastbound to Roosevelt and Humphrey Avenue in Oak Park, where the Impala driver blocked in the Express so it could not flee. Officers arrested Rodriguez and charged him with hit-and-run and no valid driver’s license or proof of insurance.

Judgmentally impaired

Forest Park police observed a 24-year-old Forest Park man park his 2002 Buick in the handicap spot at 7216 Circle Avenue. When asked if he was handicapped, the driver said, “No, I’ll move right now.” That’s when the officer noted the open bottle of Hennessy liquor next to him. He was issued local ordinance tickets for parking in a handicap spot and open alcohol.

Too intoxicated to walk? Why not drive?

Police were summoned to the 100 block of Belvedere around 10 a.m., April 27, to investigate a Mercury parked in a private lot, occupied by two people. The occupants, a man and woman “who were quick to adjust their clothing,” reportedly smelled strongly of alcohol. The man, who slurred his speech, said he lived a couple of blocks away on Washington Street. Because he was found to have a suspended license, police told him to walk home. Officers offered to move the Mercury from the lot and park it on Dixon so his father could pick it up later. The couple was told to walk home and sleep it off. But a few minutes later, police observed the man get into the car and drive eastbound on Dixon and then south on Marengo. The car was curbed and he was arrested and taken to the station where he blew a .162 in the Breathalyzer device, more than twice the legal limit. He was charged with driving with a suspended license, no insurance and DUI.  

These items were obtained from the records of the Forest Park Police Department, April 21-27, 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

Tip hotline

Anyone with information regarding the cases mentioned in this report, or on another matter, is encouraged to contact the Forest Park police department’s hotline at 708-615-6239. Information may be left anonymously.

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...