Passerby rescues screaming woman in 2 a.m. Blue Line attack

Police on June 10 arrested a 48-year-old Chicago man after he allegedly attacked a 100-pound woman on the Harlem Avenue Blue Line platform around 2 a.m., demanded sex and then knocked her onto the tracks where he attempted, unsuccessfully, to pull off her pants. The 36-year-old victim told police that Chester White approached her as she stood by the stairs on the train platform around 2 a.m. and told her he “wanted sex.” He then allegedly grabbed her, telling her, “If you don’t do this, you’ll end up on the tracks.” As the two struggled, both the victim and White fell from the platform onto the train tracks, where the woman said she struck the back of her head on the ground. When she screamed for help, two men walking on Circle Avenue above the tracks looked down and saw a man lying on top of a woman on the train tracks. One witness used his CTA pass to enter the station, and ran down the stairs onto the Circle Avenue platform, while the second called 911. After being confronted, White began to walk quickly east on the platform, heading toward Harlem Avenue. The witness pointed White out to Forest Park police, who found the victim sitting on the stairs. Police observed small lacerations on her hands from the train embankment. She said she had rib pain but declined medical attention. White was taken into custody and charged with criminal sexual assault.

The hero, identified as Craig Mathis, of Oak Park, told NBC news: “It could have gotten ugly with the train there. She was all alone.” 

“It felt good to prevent something serious from happening,” he said. 

Wallet lifted 

A woman told Forest Park police her purple Coach wallet was lifted from her purse around 3 p.m., June 7, as she rode the CTA Blue Line. She said a few days later she started to receive text messages from her bank saying fraudulent activity had been detected on her credit card. She said the wallet contained a driver’s license, credit cards and $20. Fraudsters charged almost $600 on her cards before the activity came to her attention and she cancelled them, she said.

Money to burn

Police were summoned to an early-morning Dumpster fire behind the Forest Park National Bank, 7331 Roosevelt Road, June 10. The officer arrived at 5:08 a.m. and tried to extinguish the blaze with a portable fire extinguisher, but it proved too stubborn. Forest Park firefighters struck the blaze shortly thereafter. No person, contraband or accelerant was immediately visible. The case remains under investigation.

Litter toss leads to impounded car

Police observed a driver fling a balled-up piece of white paper from the window of a green 1998 Dodge Dakota in the 7900 block of Roosevelt Road around 11:20 a.m., June 11. Curbing the Dodge, police discovered the driver, a 46-year-old Addison man, was not in possession of his license, which was suspended. He also had no insurance card. Cops charged him with driving with license suspended, no proof of insurance and wrote him a local ordinance ticket for littering. The Dodge was impounded with a release fee of $500.

Doves in his pants

A loss prevention agent at Ultra Foods contacted police after a 39-year-old Chicago man was observed popping bottles of Dove body wash and Degree deodorant into his waistband around 1:30 p.m., June 11. When police arrived, they observed the 25-year-old security guard and the alleged shoplifter struggling on the floor inside the store. After being separated, police recovered 17 body washes and deodorants, worth $76.45 from the man’s pant legs, which had been tied at the bottom with shoelaces. Because Clifton E. Walker had a previous retail theft conviction in 2011, felony retail theft was approved by the Assistant State’s Attorney’s Office. Additionally, Walker was charged with one count of battery.

Mommy’s resting

An officer observed an unconscious woman in the passenger seat of a 2003 GMC vehicle parked at Thornton’s gas station, 601 Harlem Ave., with a small child in the back seat around 4:20 p.m., June 11. After knocking several times on the glass, the officer managed to awaken the 35-year-old LaGrange woman. He also noticed a bag of a green leafy substance, a glass pipe and a scale in plain view in the vehicle. A 33-year-old male, after exiting the gas station building, admitted there was more pot in the car. The woman was charged with possession of cannabis and drug paraphernalia and one count of endangering the life of a child. 

Pedestrian struck after exiting bus

A 58-year-old man suffered lacerations to his arms and legs and required stitches on his head after he was struck in the 1100 block of Desplaines Avenue by a Ford Expedition around 2 p.m., June 12. Witnesses said they saw the man exit a southbound Pace bus near the intersection of Desplaines and Roosevelt Road and observed him walk behind the bus and then attempt to dart east across the street. The northbound driver of the Expedition, a 53-year-old woman, said she did not see the pedestrian as her view was blocked by the bus. The pedestrian was not near a crosswalk. Witnesses said the man flew 10-15 feet in the air after being struck. He told police he was in a hurry and did not really remember what happened after exiting the bus through the rear door. 

What’s in the cup?

Police observed two 22-year-old men lingering on the Madison Street sidewalk in warm weather around 3 a.m., June 14, clutching “to-go” brown coffee cups with lids outside the Shortstop Lounge (7425 Madison) and then again outside Slainte (7505 Madison). An officer inquired as to the contents in the containers asking, “What’s in the cup?” The first man initially said, “coffee,” but when asked to open the lid, he admitted the beverage was Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum. The second man also played dumb, but officers inspected the cup and found alcohol inside. Since one man complied and apologized, he was given a warning, but the second man, from Crystal Lake, was issued a local ordinance ticket for open alcohol.

Mercedes emblem missing

A man who parked his 2006 grey Mercedes Benz on a regular basis at the U.S. Post Office bulk mail center, told police on June 14 that someone tore the Mercedes emblem off the hood of his car sometime during the day, May 31. Officers accepted the report and asked the victim to request a security video of the parking lot.

Auto repair nabbing

A 57-year-old Forest Park man was working on his green 2000 Mercury van behind his residence in the 500 block of Ferdinand around 1:30 p.m., June 14, when a patrol officer passed and ran his license plate. The man was found to have an open warrant from January 2013 in Chicago for possession of a controlled substance. Police took the amateur mechanic into custody and held him for Chicago police.

Backpack full of weed

Forest Park police stopped a 2005 Nissan Maxima around 11:45 p.m., June 14, in the 7500 block of Roosevelt Road after the officer noticed a strong odor of cannabis coming from the car. The driver, Javier Fulgencio, 24, of Melrose Park, was taken into custody after police recovered more than 168 grams of pot in a backpack in the trunk, and $693 from Fulgencio. He was charged with possession of more than 30 grams of cannabis and given a court date at Maybrook courthouse.

These items were obtained from the records of the Forest Park Police Department, June 10-14, 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...