A 41-year-old Bellwood man faces felony DUI-drug charges after he allegedly drove off the roadway on First Avenue and into a fence at Forest Home Cemetery on March 9 at 10:45 p.m.
The Cook County State’s Attorney approved charging James B. Billips III with aggravated driving under the influence of drugs. He was also charged with manufacture/delivery of cannabis and illegal possession of cannabis after police reported finding a large zip-top bag containing 12 similar bags that held about 40 grams of cannabis.
According to police, Billups’ driver’s license was suspended for a prior DUI arrest when his 2014 Chrysler Town and Country minivan was traveling southbound on First Avenue and veered across the northbound lanes of traffic, off the roadway and into the cemetery fence.
Billips reportedly appeared intoxicated and had pinpoint pupils leading police and paramedics to believe he was under the influence of an opioid. Billips declined medical treatment and refused to submit to chemical testing after reportedly failing field sobriety tests. A breath test indicated he was not under the influence of alcohol.
Aggravated battery to an officer
A 24-year-old Melrose Park man was charged with two felony counts of aggravated battery to a police officer, possession of a controlled substance and five counts of obstruction after an officer tried to detain him during a traffic stop in the 900 block of Harlem Avenue on March 10 at about 11:45 p.m.
Harold Jones was a passenger in a 2006 Ford Explorer that a Forest Park police officer pulled over for having no license plates, a broken tail light and heavily tinted windows. The driver of the vehicle, a 29-year-old from Chicago, reportedly did not possess a valid driver’s license and was cited for several traffic infractions.
When asked for his identification, Jones reportedly gave police a phony name on two occasions. When an officer attempted to handcuff him, Jones allegedly elbowed her in the face and then continued to resist. He then fled on foot before officers from Forest Park, Oak Park and North Riverside were able to detain him in an alley behind the 900 block of Circle Avenue.
According to police, Jones was wanted on three warrants, including for unlawful use of a weapon and manufacture/delivery of cannabis out of Chicago, and for escape from Cook County Sheriff’s Police.
While processing Jones’ arrest, police reported finding seven suspected ecstasy pills in a pouch on his keychain. The pills were sent to the Illinois State Police crime lab for testing.
‘Visiting a friend’
Forest Park police issued a citation for negligent driving to a 19-year-old Berwyn man after responding to a report of a vehicle stuck in the Jewish Waldheim Cemetery on March 8 at about 1:20 a.m.
Officers arrived to find a 2005 Mazda 6 in the grass near several headstones east of Hannah Avenue between 16th Street and Greenberg Road. Tire marks clearly showed the vehicle had turned into a grassy area of the cemetery and attempted to travel behind the headstones into a secluded, dark area.
The driver reportedly told police that he and his 21-year-old female passenger came “to visit their friend” and had gotten stuck in the mud driving through the grass. The driver could not name the late “friend” he had come to visit, according to police. Every headstone in the vicinity recorded a date before the driver was born, police reported.
A tow truck was able to free the vehicle from the mud.
Fight on the el platform
One man suffered a bloody nose while another sustained a small cut from a knife during a fight involving three men on the CTA Blue Line platform at 711 Desplaines Ave. on March 10 at about 3:05 a.m.
According to the police report, two men armed with broken broom handles were fighting a man armed with a stainless-steel kitchen knife, an altercation that started when the man with the knife allegedly tried to steal money from one of the other men while he was sleeping on the train.
The altercation started out verbally between the Cicero Avenue stop and Forest Park and ended up with a physical confrontation when the train reached the Desplaines Avenue terminal.
Police recovered the knife from a trash can at the train station. One of the combatants was transported by paramedics to Rush Oak Park Hospital for treatment. No one was charged or ticketed as a result of the incident.
These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Forest Park Police Department, March 7-13, 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 Bob Uphues