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According to Police Chief Tom Aftanas, a car driving west on the 8200 block of Roosevelt Road at 5 p.m. on Dec. 4 didn’t react quickly enough when traffic slowed. Although the driver slammed on his brakes when he noticed traffic was stopping, he rear-ended the vehicle in front of him. That vehicle, in turn, struck the car in front of it and then crossed over the double yellow lines, striking an oncoming car.

The original car responsible for the first rear-ending jumped the curb on the north side of Roosevelt, crashing through the cemetery fence and knocking over a headstone.

Two of the drivers suffered minor injuries, and one was transported to Loyola Hospital. Two vehicles suffered extensive damage and had to be towed. No arrests were made.

Cultural diversity mural defaced again

On Dec. 8 at 10:57 p.m. defacement of one of the Circle Avenue bridge murals was reported for at least the seventh time. According to the police report, unknown offenders used a paper towel to smear chocolate brown paint onto the cultural diversity mural on the east wall of the bridge. By the time the officers arrived, citizens had already cleaned up the paint, which was still wet. A paper towel also wet with brown paint was discovered on the east pavement between the Circle bridge and the Ferrara Pan Candy factory building. 

Stolen license sticker on top of a stolen sticker

A woman on the 400 block of Marengo Avenue discovered her stolen license plate sticker on a neighbor’s car and reported it to the police on Dec. 2 at 7:58 p.m. Police ran the license plate with the sticker and went to the owner’s home. They told the owner that they were aware that his plates had expired in May of 2019 and the sticker wasn’t his. Although he originally acted surprised, he finally admitted that he knew who had stolen the sticker and put it on his license plate. He did not, however, want to “snitch” on that person. Police arrested him. When they removed the sticker, they found another stolen sticker underneath that one. The woman whose sticker was stolen did not want to sign a complaint against the man who had the sticker on his car.

Man stealing packages arrested for 35th time

A man with a history of 34 previous arrests was apprehended by police on the 600 block of Grove Lane on Dec. 4 at 3:04 a.m. A male, who had been seen on prior occasions stealing packages in the area, was reported by a resident. When police officers approached the man, he said he lived in the condo complex, but his ID showed a Chicago address. Another man, who identified himself as the townhouse board president, approached officers with a woman. They told the officers that they had previously observed the offender taking packages from around the condo complex. Although the offender stated he was merely trying to alert residents to packages on their steps, when officers ran his name, they found his 34 previous arrests and that he was arrested by Oak Park police just two days prior. He was taken into custody and will appear in court in January.

Aggravated unlawful use of weapon

A 21-year-old man was arrested on Dec. 5 at 12:09 a.m. for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. He was driving in an extremely reclined position, so the reporting officer was able to clearly see no seatbelt was being worn. When stopped, the offender exited his vehicle and gave the officer his driver’s license. The officer reported a strong odor of cannabis coming from his car.

The offender began to argue about why he was pulled over, stating he had a video showing he was wearing a seatbelt. He continued to be argumentative and wouldn’t provide proof of insurance.

The officer discovered a cannabis “blunt” in the car, and the offender said he’d done nothing wrong and had nothing illegal in the vehicle. However, a search revealed a black 9 mm Smith and Wesson M&P Shield handgun, fully loaded with one round in the chamber and five rounds in the magazine, which was inside the gun. Officers placed the offender in handcuffs. They discovered that the handgun had been reported stolen out of Oak Park during a residential burglary. 

Inside the vehicle, officers also found a handgun case holding a Smith and Wesson M&P Shield magazine with seven live rounds of 9 mm ammunition and two boxes of ammunition, one empty and one containing 34 more rounds. 

The suspect did not have a valid FOID or CCL. He was issued a felony for Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon and processed on charges of possessing ammunition without a FOID. He was also issued a local ordinance citation of possession of cannabis and a traffic citation for driving without a seatbelt.

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Forest Park Police Department, Dec. 1-7, 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.