An employee of Forest Park’s Happy Feet Massage Parlor, 7610 Madison St., who allegedly assaulted a customer in late January, turned himself in on April 19. He was charged with one count of misdemeanor battery and released on bond. The initial court date set for May 17 at Maybrook courthouse.

According to a partially redacted police report, the alleged victim, a 23-year-old woman, made an appointment at Happy Feet on Jan. 29, and after being told female massage therapists weren’t available, she made an appointment, but she felt apprehensive, so she kept her mother on speakerphone during the appointment. 

The suspect allegedly groped the victim’s private parts about 45 minutes into the session. The victim rolled over and demanded that he leave. According to the police report, the employee initially tried to push the victim onto the bed, but after the victim told the suspect she’d hurt him and her mother said she’d call the police, he left. The victim reported the incident to a female employee and left. 

Forest Park police interviewed the suspect on Feb. 8, and determined the suspect also didn’t have an Illinois massage therapist license. Initially reported as a sexual assault, the case eventually was classified as a battery. Due to redactions of the police report, it is unclear what led investigators to that conclusion.

Woman armed with pepper spray robs liquor store

A sales clerk at Forest Park Liquors, 7429 Madison St., got pepper-sprayed during a robbery in the early afternoon of April 21, with a woman snatching away two tequila bottles and running off. 

The store surveillance cameras reportedly captured the suspect entering the store at 1:39 p.m. She asked the clerk to get her two bottles of tequila from behind the counter. After the clerk set the bottles down, she asked the clerk for the price. As he turned back around, the suspect allegedly sprayed him with pepper spray, snatched the bottles and ran. 

Video also showed the woman getting into a gray 2008 Nissan Altima and driving off. The suspect was last seen driving northbound on Burkhardt Court. Subsequent investigation revealed that the car belonged to the suspect, and that the suspect was previously arrested on Nov. 1, 2019.

The clerk declined medical attention. Police continue to search for the robbery suspect.

Catalytic converter thefts

Forest Park saw multiple catalytic converter thefts in the middle of April.  

Four were stolen from the four buses owned by REM employment agency, 7239 Roosevelt Road. REM parks its buses in the spaces it rents at parking lot of the nearby McGaffers Tavern, 7737 Roosevelt Road. The owner discovered the thefts in the early morning of April 18, but the theft could have happened at any point after the afternoon of April 8.  

Another catalytic converter was stolen from a vehicle parked at St. Bernadine Catholic Church parking lot, in the 800 block of Elgin Ave. The owner parked the car on April 13 and discovered the theft when he returned on the morning of April 18. 

Police recover lost phones, credit cards

A call about a suspicious person led to a recovery of multiple stolen phones, credit cards and other property.

On April 24 at around 9:05 p.m., police officers responded to a report of a suspicious person carrying a suitcase and a bag in the 600 block of Ferdinand Avenue, “walking around slowly and looking at houses.” 

After stopping the man, they found him carrying multiple phones, gift cards, medical insurance cards, hotel cards, IDs and keys that didn’t belong to him in his suitcase and inside his jacket. 

The man said that he found those items “while riding the train in the city” and that he would turn the items over to the officers. When the officers tried to return his IDs and other belongings, he walked away, saying that he didn’t want his property.

The officers were able to return a phone and two credit cards to their owners. The owner of the phone said he lost it, while the owner of the credit cards believed that they were stolen when her car was broken into. The rest of the items remain inventoried at the station because the officers were either unable to reach the owners or couldn’t identify the owners. 

These items were obtained from police reports filed by the Forest Park Police Department, April 18-24, 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 Igor Studenkov