Vodka thieves strike child with getaway car

Police were summoned to the CVS at 7216 Circle Avenue for a retail theft in progress around 2:50 p.m., Feb. 7. When they arrived, they learned the driver of a 2005 Mercury Montego had backed up over a child while fleeing after allegedly shoplifting several bottles of vodka from the store. When officers arrived, the driver of the Mercury fled at a high rate of speed. The car sped south on Marengo, flying through stop signs and then turned onto Madison, where it struck a Jaguar, then continued until it struck another vehicle at Jackson and Maple in Oak Park. Officers took driver Stephen L. Williams, 47, of Chicago, and passenger Ronald Turner, 45, of Chicago, into custody. Witnesses said Turner had removed several vodka bottles from the CVS without paying, and entered the Mercury driven by Stephens. The father of the boy, age 8, said they were walking through the parking lot with another child when Williams backed up and struck his son who fell underneath the car. The child was taken to Loyola Hospital, treated for soreness and released. 

Williams was charged with felony aggravated fleeing and eluding an officer, and Turner was charged with felony retail theft.

 Cab incidents

A bad week for Forest Park’s Blue Cab Company. One cabbie’s vehicle caught fire around 4:42 a.m., Feb. 2. The Toyota Prius emitted a burning smell and smoke billowed out from under the hood. By the time police arrived, the entire engine was in flames. The driver was uninjured.

Feb. 6 around 9 p.m., a Blue Cab driver was shot in the back and killed in his vehicle in Maywood on Congress between 4th and 5th avenues, on a frontage road just north of the I-290 Expressway. Seneca Richardson, 34, of Maywood, was found slumped over his steering wheel. Maywood police are still investigating.

 Snowbank on PCP

A 32-year-old Bloomingdale woman who had driven her 2003 Pontiac Vibe into a snowbank at the corner of Desplaines Avenue and Troost Street around 6:20 p.m., Feb. 2, told police she was angry at her boyfriend and had driven into Chicago and purchased $50 worth of the hallucinogenic drug PCP from someone on the street. Then, she said, she smoked one fifth of the drugs in the Walmart parking lot on Roosevelt Road and next thing she knew, her car was stuck in a snowbank. Officers noted she had glassy eyes, spoke with slurred speech and failed field sobriety tests. Officers recovered a tin-foil-wrapped set of baggies containing a black substance smelling like ether. She was charged with possession of a controlled substance.  

Blender troubles

Forest Park police got a heads up from Downer’s Grove employees of Bed Bath and Beyond that a Bellwood woman had been engaging in fraudulent returns at the Forest Park store. According to the company, Jalisa R. Steele, 24, had walked into the Forest Park BB&B without merchandise, Jan. 17, allegedly took a Nutribullet blender from the shelf and then returned it, obtaining a store credit for $217.99. She showed employees her driver’s license. A similar incident reportedly happened on Jan. 23, when she allegedly “returned” a different model Nutribullet blender and got a credit for $174.40. Police were ready when she showed up again on Feb. 4 around 6:30 p.m., selected a Cuisinart food processor valued at $179.99, and tried to return it for store credit. When cops questioned her, she reportedly first insisted that she brought the blender from home, then became agitated, saying, “OK, I took it from here; it’s just a little retail theft, can I go now?” She was charged with three counts of felony theft. 

 Big pharma at Thornton’s

Police recovered 70 bags of heroin, two plastic bags of crack, some marijuana and $230 wrapped in a rubber band from a traffic stop at the Thornton’s gas station, 601 Harlem Ave. around 9:18 p.m., Feb. 5. Officers observed a driver pull into the parking lot in a 1999 Buick Regal with Indiana plates. The driver stopped at the gas pump but reportedly didn’t get out and instead spoke on a cellphone and then was joined by a second man who entered via the passenger door. When officers questioned the pair, one man bolted from the car and tried to flee but was quickly nabbed. Police recovered the large amount of heroin and crack on his person, and his friend admitted to cannabis in his sock. Kevin Price, 30, of Indianapolis, was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance, resisting arrest and driving with license suspended.

Pedestrian crossing

The driver of a 2007 Ford Crown Vic failed to stop for the pedestrian crossing at Marengo Avenue and Madison Street around 12:42 a.m., Feb. 7, as a person attempted to cross. Turns out, the driver, age 25 from Chicago, had a suspended license. Nobs towed the Ford away and the driver was released from the scene, without his car.

 Dodge Caravan theft fail

A minivan parked in the 1140 block of Lathrop Avenue around 3:20 p.m. was discovered to have been broken into with a pry tool. The Dodge Caravan’s owner observed the steering column was stripped and the ignition tampered with and a pry tool lying on the floor of the car, which was too damaged to drive and had to be towed away. Officers collected evidence for an ongoing investigation.

Doc Ryan melee

Officers showed up at Doc Ryan’s, 7432 Madison St. around 1:44 a.m., Feb. 8, after a bar fight spilled into the street. Witnesses said two groups got into it and were ejected from the bar, where they were joined by allies on either side who began to strike each other. When police arrived, most of the brawlers scattered, but they arrested three men, ages 21, 22 and 24 from Oak Park and Chicago. They were issued local ordinance citations.

 These items were obtained from the records of the Forest Park Police Department, Feb. 3-8, 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...