Bike riders attacked near CTA station

Two men riding their bikes about 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 22 near the Blue Line CTA terminal, told police they rode past a group of eight juveniles. Two of them broke free from the pack, approached one rider and punched him in the face, knocking him face down onto the cement. Police arrived and saw eight young men running away. They caught one of the juveniles trying to climb the fence to board a CTA train without going through the station. 

The attack occured at the CTA parking lot west of the station on Van Buren Street that links to the Prairie Path.

The victim was unable to move when police arrived, and was taken to Loyola University Hospital where he received stitches for three deep lacerations on his face. The arrested juvenile identified the boy who had punched the victim in the face and the offender, age 16 from Maywood, turned himself in to police around 7 p.m. He told police he was angry the two bike riders had passed so close to him. He was charged with aggravated battery and released into his brother’s custody.

This incident has been updated to correct the location of the attack and the ages of the victim and witness riding a bike. 

Not a bum

“I am not a bum!” read a piece of cardboard held by a 23-year-old Bolingbrook man charged with panhandling near Desplaines Avenue and Harrison Street, Nov. 17. The man told police he was trying to collect train fare to visit his girlfriend on Narragansett Avenue in Chicago. The officer told him he couldn’t get to that location by train. The man also said he had no idea panhandling was illegal and that someone told him to do it to make some money. He was issued a local ordinance ticket for vagrancy and panhandling.

Faux physician can’t heal himself

Police arrived at the scene of a one-car accident in the 1000 block of Desplaines Avenue around 4:30 a.m. Nov. 18. A 2014 Chevy had crashed head-on into a guard rail and was damaged so badly, it could not be driven. Police observed the driver, a 42-year-old Forest Park man, inside the locked car holding his nose, which was bleeding. When the car door opened, the officer smelled alcohol. The driver allegedly had a difficult time removing his license from his wallet, swayed while standing and had bloodshot eyes. Officers found open cans and bottles of Coors Light, Miller Light and Bud Ice beer. The driver was taken by ambulance to Loyola University Medical Center where he caused a disturbance in the ER by insisting that he was a Loyola Hospital surgical doctor and didn’t like the medical care he was receiving. He reportedly tried to remove a cervical collar for a CAT scan and attempted to walk out of the ER several times. A blood alcohol serum level of .25 percent (more than three times the legal limit of .08 percent) was measured from his blood. He was charged with DUI, failure to reduce speed, damage to village property and no proof of insurance. 

Summer theft reported

A 77-year-old man told police his 2004 Chevrolet’s catalytic converter had been removed sometime between June 25 and July 5 when the car was parked in his apartment lot in the 800 block of Desplaines Avenue. When the engine made more noise, he said, he just thought he needed a new muffler. He said he was reporting the theft for insurance purposes.

Hold that text

Officers patrolling for WEDGE (West Suburban Directed Gang Enforcement) saw a man driving a 2011 Chevy Malibu near Austin Boulevard and Adams Street in Oak Park while he appeared to be texting around 8:30 p.m., Nov. 11. They curbed the car and could smell a strong odor of burned cannabis as they spoke to the 26-year-old Maywood resident. Officers noticed a plastic bag protruding out of the man’s front pants pocket. Inside was a heat-sealed bag containing two more bags weighing 19 grams of a green leafy substance, suspected to be marijuana. Also recovered from the man were two cellphones and $439 in cash, rolled up in two wads. The man told police he got the cash by working. The cellphones rang continuously as officers processed the man. He said he was carrying pot because he was on his way to a party where “everyone’s gonna bring they own weed.” He was found to have a prior conviction for possession of cannabis, and was charged with possession and texting while driving.

Stolen minivan leads to K9 chase

A Forest Park officer, transporting a K9 police dog near Harlem Avenue and Garfield Street in Oak Park, ran the license of a silver 2003 Chrysler Town and Country minivan driving northbound on Harlem around midnight, Nov. 21. The van came up reported stolen from Chicago, Nov. 20. The officer pulled in front of the van at a red light to make a traffic stop and saw a 21-year-old Chicago man exit the driver’s side of the vehicle and begin to head southbound down the middle of Harlem. The officer yelled for him to stop, but he continued to run. Then the officer heard a crash and saw the minivan had struck the side of the K9 squad car because it had not been “put in park.” The officer continued to chase the man on foot through the Mom’s restaurant parking lot and onto the 800 block of Elgin Ave. 

Asking other officers to create a perimeter, the officer went back to his car and got Killian, the K9 dog. The dog romped off and found the driver cowering under a porch at Elgin and Lexington. At the station, the officer noticed the dog’s bite had pierced the man’s jacket and he had visible bite marks on his arm and back. Local paramedics treated him, then transported him to the Rush Oak Park Hospital Emergency Room. Recovered from the car were stolen Garmin GPS machines, a television, snowblower, radios, a trolley jack, pry tools and keys. The car’s owner showed up and claimed his van but said he had never seen any of the items in the back before. He noted that there had been two captain chairs in the back when he parked his vehicle near Division and California and it went missing. 

The running man was charged with motor vehicle theft, possession of stolen property, no valid driver’s license or proof of insurance and resisting arrest. 

Burglary streak linked to stolen Chrysler

Some of the tools and bikes filling the Chrysler minivan mentioned above appear to have come from burglaries of 11 locked and unlocked garages in the 1400 and 1500 blocks of Marengo and Elgin avenues, overnight Nov. 21. One car was ransacked and a Garmin GPS worth $100 was missing. A 2007 Mercury was stolen from another. A set of power tools, including hammer drills, routers and an air compressor, were lifted from another garage. Change was removed from a cup holder in another garage. A snowblower, generator and bicycle were missing from a fifth garage. A pair of binoculars was found missing from another. Three other garages had evidence of pry tool damage on doors but had nothing immediately missing. 

Man with a knife Dunkin Donuts 

Police were summoned to Dunkin Donuts in the 7200 block of Circle Avenue around 2:20 a.m., Nov. 21, after employees said a 62-year-old man allegedly threatened a CTA employee in uniform with a knife saying, “I’ll cut you, you fat pink honkey.” 

The man wanted the employee to “get him back on the Green Line” even though trains had stopped at 2 a.m. The man was outside the shop by the time police arrived, but when they questioned him he reportedly asked, “What do you damn plantation n—s want?” He complained that his feet and hands hurt and he wouldn’t do anything they said.

 Taken into custody, he refused to reveal his name until officers took a fingerprint and matched it to his identity. He was charged with two counts of aggravated assault and obstructing identification.

Theft

A black Schwinn bicycle was removed from the bike rack at the CTA Blue Line terminal at 711 Desplaines Ave. sometime on Nov. 21.

 Stopped at Walmart exit

On Nov. 22 around 11:30 a.m., Walmart security agents at the 1300 Desplaines Ave. store said they had observed a man filling a cart for two hours around the store with 141 different items, who then tried to wheel them away without paying. These included men’s and women’s personal items, deodorant, toothpaste, hairspray, shop-vacs and other items, valued at $998.62. Store security caught him leaving without paying and held him for Forest Park police. Dolie R. Green, 61, of Chicago was charged with felony retail theft. 

 These items were obtained from the records of the Forest Park Police Department, Nov. 16-21, 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

This story has been updated to correct the location of the attack and ages of the victim and witness riding a bike in the first incident.

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...