Police sergeant injured after DUI driver strikes squad car

A Lisle man has been charged with drunken driving after he reportedly crashed his vehicle into a squad car and injured a police sergeant in the 400 block of Desplaines Avenue just after midnight on Dec. 12.

Sgt. Mike Harrison was driving northbound on Desplaines Avenue when a Ford sedan turned left, going east on Madison, and reportedly struck the side of the squad car. Police Chief Thomas Aftanas said Harrison suffered minor injuries and was transported to Loyola University Medical Center. 

“He was injured; he’s a little banged up and pretty sore but nothing major, thank God,” Aftanas said. “He’s out of work for an unknown period of time.” 

Aftanas said the squad car, a Ford Crown Victoria, suffered extensive damage, and he was waiting to hear from the insurance company “if they’re going to try and repair it or if it’s going to be totaled.” 

The 40-year-old driver of the other vehicle told police he was driving from a Randolph Street bar, where he consumed three vodka Redbull drinks and played darts. He said he was on his way to a Madison Street tavern to pick up a pizza before heading home. That’s when he allegedly attempted to make a left turn onto eastbound Madison Street, failed to yield and hit the squad car. He was transported to Rush Oak Park Hospital for treatment. 

The man reportedly told police he thought he had a green arrow that allowed him to turn at the intersection. Aftanas said there is no arrow at that intersection. 

The driver had “little to no” recollection of the accident and was unaware that he hit a squad car, according to the report. He reportedly told police that “perhaps” he was impaired by alcohol and was unable to safely operate a motor vehicle.

He was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, failure to yield-left turn, and he received an ordinance violation for damaging village property. 

“If you’ve been drinking, definitely taxi, Uber, have a friend drive, or walk home,” Aftanas said.

Gun stolen at orthodontics office 

Police responded to Forest Park Orthodontics, 1129 Harlem Ave., about 4:15 p.m. on Dec. 11, on a call that multiple purses — including one containing a gun — had been stolen. 

The office manager told police that Alicia Smith, 38, of Chicago, walked in with two men, and told the orthodontics staff that she had an appointment. Smith opened the door to the office’s clinical area, walked through the back office and into the patient room, according to security footage. The secretary told police she returned to the lobby about four minutes later and told her two companions, “hurry up, hurry up, I have to come back anyways.” The secretary asked what she was doing and Smith replied, “Oh, just going to the bathroom.” The group walked out of the business. 

The office manager told staff to check their belongings and staff realized that a wallet containing $300 in cash, an Illinois driver’s license, a state ID card, a concealed-carry permit and firearm owner identification card and multiple bank cards were taken, along with a purse that contained a firearm. 

Police spotted a group that matched the trio’s description walking across Harvard, from the Harlem-Elgin alley. Officers noticed the woman had a purse and wallet in her hand that matched the stolen items’ description. They stopped her and at first she cooperated, but then tried to walk away. Officers grabbed Smith, put her in handcuffs and threw the purse she was carrying to the ground; when they put the handcuffs on, she dropped the wallet. Smith told police the purse and wallet were not hers and that she had a concealed-carry permit. 

Officers opened the purse and found a loaded semi-automatic gun. A name check revealed that Smith did not have a valid concealed-carry permit or firearm owner identification card. 

She received felony charges for burglary, unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, and two counts of felony theft. Smith also had warrants out from the Cook County Sheriff’s Office for two counts of burglary, identity theft, and escaping arrest; she had a warrant out from the Evanston Police Department for burglary as well. 

One of the men she was with had an active warrant from the Chicago Police Department for manufacturing and delivering heroin, and was turned over to Chicago police. 

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Forest Park Police Department, Dec. 11-16, and represent a portion of the incidents to which police responded. Unless otherwise indicated, anybody named in these reports has only been charged with a crime. These cases have not been adjudicated.

Compiled by Nona Tepper